Breaking Down Power, Restoring Empowerment

I long to live in a world that honors a human’s journey. Appreciates different perspectives and opinions. Allows an independent search for truth.

In recent weeks it has become increasingly clear that we have a really hard time allowing others to have different viewpoints than ours. We have a hard time holding space for those we don’t understand or agree with. Yet that is our call as humans. To work toward commonality. To set aside our differences in search of truth.

Inside of our homes, our organizations, and our communities we are building power structures based on our perceptions and ideals of how the world should be. We judge others who do not believe what we believe, live the way we live, or work the way we work.

The result? People stop speaking up. They settle into mediocrity and a comfortable place of going along. This saddens me to the depths of my soul because we are missing out. Every day people are getting to the end of their life regretting not being true to themselves. Workplaces are missing real opportunities to create, innovate, and be joyful in building toward positive progress.

Our families live out an ideal way of being based on the person “most in charge,” and we don’t allow our family members to fully live into all they were created to be. Our communities struggle to solve the hard issues we face because our egos and judgment cloud our ability to work together and impede us from forming a holistic solution.

One of my favorite quotes since I was a little girl is, “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” I feel these words from Jimi Hendrix deeply every single time I read them. This is what God wants for us.

Power is rooted in fear. Controlling the narrative, bullying people into silence, shaming people for their opinions, judging people for their actions. Most of our leaders today operate from fear-based power and have built power structures into our families, communities, and workplaces.

When a challenging situation comes up, people operating from fear search for information that confirms their own narrative. They are unwilling to show up with an open heart and open mind to anything that goes against what they believe. They are unwilling to be wrong. That fear and shame about being wrong runs deep, especially in the workplace.

This is what we have to restore. Just because you are wrong about an idea, does not mean you are any less valuable. Think of all the great leaders and inventors. They failed more than they were ever right. Failure is a key part of learning and growing!

We have put being right ahead of honoring people and searching for truth, out of fear and a desire to protect ourselves. As leaders, we have to find our worth separate from our actions and ideas. We will mess up, we will be wrong because we are human. That doesn’t mean we are any less valuable to the process. Leaders have to believe that for themselves and help others to believe that if we are to restore and work toward empowerment.

Empowerment is rooted in love. We embrace personal responsibility for our own thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions. We admit mistakes when we make them. We allow people to have their own ideas, opinions, and actions. When there are differences, we speak our truths out of love and with care and respect. We work together to find commonality and to come up with solutions together. There are very few places in the world this happens because we no longer teach these skills or hold them up as important. We have lost our reverence for life and for each other.

The good news is that it can be restored starting today. It starts with you. No matter who you are, what you do, or what your authority. When we each take personal responsibility for learning to live, work, and lead in love instead of fear, the rest just falls into place. We honor outcomes instead of trying to control them, and we are able to face each other with honor and dignity in our differences.

That is the world I am hopeful to build…starting with me. As I continue to explore, discover, and develop my whole self and the way God created me to be, I am less and less attached to the external world. I am free to love and be loved in any situation. I am able to show up with my truth and honor someone who has one different than mine. In difference, I am able to speak from a place of love and grace instead of fear and judgment. This…is a beautiful place to be and my greatest hope for you is that you find it too, and then help others do the same. Together, we can restore it all.

Don’t know where to start? Check out services for leaders, teams, and organizations at the-restorationproject.com

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