Tricia Karp Tricia Karp
30 November 2012

The Great Power Give Away: When being generous won’t serve you

The Great Power (1)

Keeping your power in its rightful place can be a tough gig.

From the moment you could talk and started asserting yourself and your will, you probably became accustomed to the generous use of the word no, aimed directly at you.  As well as what you should and shouldn’t do.

As a child, you were probably encouraged to kiss an aunty or an uncle when you didn’t want to. But you were told to and you really wanted to be a good girl (making your mummy or daddy happy made you feel loved) so you did it.  You gave away your power to choose.  You ran over your right to decide for yourself what you wanted to do.  Or not do.

And so it went.  At school, then at work, then in relationships… it became normal – even automatic – to generously donate your power. 

Sensitive types – those who are extremely perceptive and aware of how other people feel – are most likely to fall furthest into the trap.  The Nice girls.  The Pleasers.  Those wearing the rags of repression. Those who are busy making it all right for everyone else, at the cost of themselves, their truth, their longings and dreams.

If you have a propensity to put everyone else first, there’s a step you can take to start to preserve your power.  And it’s absolutely necessary to prevent being blown around like a house in a hurricane and maintain your stability and strength.  To be solid. Unwavering.  Powerful.

It’s this: You need to discover your truth, so you can start speaking it.

Your truth is like a guide dog.  She’s loyal.  Always there for you. Even when you forget to feed her, let her go too long without a bath, are skimpy with your love and affection, feed her scraps, and kick her out to her kennel on a cold night.

And even better, she knows exactly what you truly want and need.  Trust her, follow her, and marvel at the new decisions you make.  Listen to how much more powerful your words are, and the new strength in your voice.  Notice how other people respond to you.  Watch how life starts to feel and look more like it matches the true You.

It’ll take practice to get in touch with what’s been neglected for so long.  If you’re feeling stuck, anxious, empty or depressed, eating in ways that aren’t truly nourishing you, despondent or ambivalent about your job or relationships, I guarantee you your true voice has news for you that could change your life.  

Ask her: What messages do you have for me?  What am I pretending not to know?  Speak the words out loud and listen.  If you’re kidding yourself, you’ll be able to hear it.

Apologise for not giving her – you – the juice she deserves.  Commit to listen more often. Make a deal to work together from now on.  Put your hand on your heart, get down on your knees, and thank her like you would someone who’s just rescued your drowning child.

Your life – the one you’re called to lead, the one in which you play big, girl – on your own terms – depends on her.

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