I don’t know who coined the phrase, to step into your power, but it really speaks to a place deep inside my soul. The moment it happened I knew that I would never be the same again. For me it is a solid feeling on the inside and this power is with me constantly. When I was mulling the whole incident over, my conclusion was that it is a three step process. Realisation, responsibility and taking action. I am sharing my experience as I have internalised it, but the path to your power will be singular to you and your situation.
Taking that first step into my power was a result of a series of awakenings. It began with me looking for answers. What do I actually believe? What is really important to me? Who do I honestly want to spend my time with? What do I want to spend my time on? Can I keep on living this life? No, was the decisive answer. I discovered that I did not want my life to continue in the same way. I was tired of the lies, tired of the deceit. Most of all I was tired of my double life. I had two faces: the show face and the shit face. The show face was the me I allowed other people to see. The mouth on that face said: “I am fine. My finances are fine. My marriage is fine. My kids are great.” The other face said: “I am incensed. I am hurt. My marriage is crumbling. My kids are confused. I am dying inside.” I could have kept my show face in place, but it was so exhausting and I was done. Done with not honouring what I needed, what I wanted. Done with not honouring me. I could have chosen to continue with this ruse, but I was only fooling myself. I had a very realistic view on what rocking the boat was going to do to the people I love. No one would be spared. My husband and children were not going to be protected from pain. Knowing that I was going to be the cause of a lot pain, was terrible. I had to believe that something healthy and whole would come from realising that I could not continue in the same way as always. I made the conscious choice to step out of the known into a very scary unknown.
It took me years to get to this point. Not just a couple of years either. It took more than a decade to get to a place where I could be honest with myself. Everything in my life was there as a result of either me allowing it to be there or me actively choosing it. To accept responsibility for the totality of my life was the hardest, best thing I have ever done. Previously I felt like a victim. It wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t me. I was the wronged party. Poor me. I was powerless and I couldn’t stand myself any longer. I knew then that only I can change. I can’t force anyone else to change and my circumstances can’t change if I stay the same. I had the power to change my inner self. Self -discovery was the only way. Brutal honesty was the road littered with potholes I had to travel. Admit to all the bad, feel all the guilt and shame, take responsibility for it and let it go. Choose a new you and a new life. I took responsibility for my life and it gave me the power to change my story.
Lastly, I had to take action. Confronting the issue or issues you want to change can be very daunting. It took a lot of courage to step into my power and reveal the disconnect and not know what the outcome will be. In my mind all the possible outcomes were going to be really, really difficult. I chose to act in spite of all the pain and loss that could possibly follow. That was the moment when I truly stepped into my power. I took the risk. Whatever the consequences, I would be true to me. And it has been really, really difficult, terrible, messy, beautiful, enlightening and powerful.
I stepped into my power four years ago and it has been a rough ride. My show face and the other one are in agreement: “I am learning. I am growing. My marriage is a work in progress. My kids are okay. I feel powerful.” The most important thing for me is to know my authentic self and then live true to that person. I am still doing the work, asking the questions and staying in my power.
“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.”
― Patrick Overton,