What is power really?
Most of us learn that power comes from the use of force or the accumulation of resources. According to Merriam Webster, power can be grouped into 3 main categories:
a: physical might
b: mental or moral efficacy
c: political control or influenceThe first is the use of force, the second is persuasion, and the third is control. All are mostly about having power over others. These powers usually use fear as a motivating force.
Fear Is Not The Best Source Of Power
Karla McLaren, an expert on emotions, writes about fear:
…Fear helps you orient you to change, novelty, or possible physical hazards. Fear focuses on the present moment and your immediate surroundings…Without your fear, you’re unaware, unintuitive, disoriented, and unsafe…
Fear definitely has its place in our lives when we connect with it in the way it was intended to support us. However, when fear becomes the basis of power over others, the fear has to be maintained in order to maintain control.
That is NOT the purpose of fear..
Joy Can Bring A Different And Lost Power.
When we are in emergencies as a kind of normal, we have to consume a lot of resources to deal with them. If this is as constant, then you are vulnerable most if not all of the time, which does not feel good.
It is worth considering what life would be like if we had a different way of living. A path anchored in joy offers you that opportunity. To have joy, you need to be out of constant emergencies. You need to feel some comfort and contentment about your ability to meet basic needs and to work with others to create and maintain a solid foundation for living.
Joy, therefore, brings a lost power to our world: Staying power.
Why Staying Power Is The Most Important Power
Staying power gives you choice. It is foundational for self-determination. It provides the freedom to be yourself and express yourself
Right now, when we are fortunate, we can express our voices and choices through the ballot box. We vote about politics and through our purchases and other choices. That is all goodness except that our ability to survive is undermined by living costs that make it difficult, if not impossible, to make the choices we would most prefer.
So, on the one hand, we are fortunate to be able to vote, but unfortunate because we live in a system that keeps the fear for our survival uppermost as a priority, It is worth asking whether this is the best we can do. Is this approach creating joy? Most people would say no, or perhaps some of the time.
To have real sustainable joy, you have to have solid foundations that support that quality of life. Foundations may not be glamorous or exciting, except when they provide you with choices about your life that you had not been able to consider.
Some of the most important questions you can ask yourself about your staying power are:
Question #1: What crises and emergencies are a constant in my life, how are they negatively impacting me, and how might I change the situation?
Question #2: What in my life is consuming a lot more resources than providing value to my life?
Question #3: What supports do I need that I do not have in my life so I can live in a joy-creating way? Do I have staying power?
To many people, rethinking how they spend their time and resources can feel like they are shirking or being unkind. What is really unkind is to use the time and energy of people in never-ending crises so they cannot enjoy their lives.
You deserve that consideration.