Sunday, January 22, 2012

Owning My Personal Power - Insights

Owning my personal power is something that I feel like it has taken me years to do. In the beginning, I had no idea what personal power was. If I had any, where was it? What was it? How was it going to change my life?

As a child and a victim of incest, I felt like only my abusers had any power. When I tried to be powerful and not afraid, the abusers quickly made sure that I was put back in my place. I was always afraid of other people - afraid to speak out about the abuse, afraid to speak up and call attention to myself, afraid that if people knew about the incest they would blame me and call me trash, whore, tramp. I was afraid I would die from the shame if others knew. From that position of victim, I couldn't see that I had any power. Those thoughts continued into my adulthood.

As a survivor, I had to work hard to discover who I was. Knowing who I was didn't come easy. As a child of incest, I forgot all of that in order to stay sane and to stay alive. I did a lot of trial and error, as a survivor, starting with recognizing the things that I didn't like and didn't want in my life. As a child who saw only negatives from the surrounding adults, how could I possibly, as an adult, automatically know about positives in life? I didn't.  All I could connect with, in the beginning, was what I didn't like. After acknowledging and letting go of the negatives for awhile, I could begin to see positive things happening in my life. I could begin to acknowledge,
"Yes, I like this."
"Yes, this feels good."
"Yes, I want this in my life." and finally,
"Yes, I deserve to have this good in my life. I deserve to not have to constantly struggle and be disappointed in myself, others and life in general."

Then there was room to see the positives in my life and in who I was. That change started with learning to love myself and forgiving myself for my reactions to the abuse or to the triggers in life. I could change from reacting to acting which meant letting go of the need for drama and really, fully living my life without the hyper vigilance of my childhood and the stress that went with it. I could find real calmness and peace within myself rather than just the surface calm that most people saw in me.

As a thriver, I am coming into my own power and glorying in it. I am a person of great value. We all are. I am not a victim and I am more than just a survivor.

Owning my own power means I can be me, whoever that is. Shining my Light for everyone to see, loving myself in all of my perfection and imperfections, loving and nurturing all of my inner children while not allowing them to control my adult life, truly loving all of me, even the shadow parts - this is owning my power in all of its fullness. Being able to say, "I am sorry." and then changing any behaviors of mine that have been inappropriate or dysfunctional is a step to owning my personal power. Letting others see me in my imperfections takes courage that I seem to have plenty of. As a child, I didn't think that I was courageous at all. I was. Courage is needed to survive incest. Even more courage is needed to become a survivor and even to thrive and I am worth it. So are each of you who are reading my words today. I encourage you to look for your own courage. It is there inside of you. Be brave. You can do it. I am no different than any other thriver who has been through the fires of incest and has come out the other side.

This article was inspired by a comment that I left on the blog of a friend, Sophie whose blog post "Owning my Power" you will find at the following link:

Thank you Sophie for the inspiration and for your blog Attunements For The Soul.


Corinne Edwards said...

Dear Patricia -

Mny of us have been abused by criticism and bullying and it has affected us as adults.

Your case of incest is extreme but these tips can be used by anyone who has been humiliated in other ways.

Very important post.

Patricia Singleton said...

Corinne, thank you. I agree that these can be used by anyone with abuse issues of any kind. Anyone with low self-worth can learn to love themselves and discover their personal power.

celesteka said...

Thank you for sharing your progress in empowerment, Patricia.
I am on this journey as well and you are a mentor to me.
Recently I have begun to speak my needs without being toxic, step by step.
I am beginning to love myself better and seeing more of my assets than my faults.
My creativity is being expressed regularly now. No more SHOULDS which ruled my life for years.
I am so happy to have you as my sister on this journey.
I have more hope and triumphs now, more answers to questions and prayers.

Blessings :)

Patricia Singleton said...

Celesteka, you always uplift me with your belief in me and in yourself. I thank you. I believe that healing me also helps others to heal. The ripple effect makes my healing even more important because of those that I influence. It is true for you too. Your healing sets an example for all of those around you to follow if they so choose. Have a glorious day. In an hour I am off to Tai Chi.

celesteka said...

I receive your words of encouragement, Patricia. For years I was not supported in my abilities and talents.
Now I am in a healthy, READ relationship and receiving compliments that in the past I could not hear or receive.
Yesterday I discovered how to post images on Twitter; this is a HUGE accomplishment and you encouraged me by your statement of trial and error :)
Enjoy your Tai Chi :)

Patricia Singleton said...

Celesteka, that is a huge accomplishment with the posting images on Twitter and in being able to receive encouragement. I am glad that I helped. Thank you.

justjess said...

Patricia, your words are so moving. Thank you for the comment you left on my blog, because I feel that I have discovered a kindred spirit. Owning our power is something that I have often discussed with other survivors, and I think is a key component to healing. It takes a lot of hard work, but the end result is worth every single second.

Patricia Singleton said...

Jess, thank you. Yes, we are kindred spirits in our healing journey. Part of learning to love myself was to see that I did have personal power that I needed to claim. The end result is definitely worth every second of the journey and the healing. Have a glorious day.