Monday, February 21, 2011

Power Seeds

When do you feel powerful? Powerless?

I feel powerful when I find that place within me that is at peace with the world. Every once in a while, I find a place within myself that allows me to be calm and cool and collected no matter what the universe throws at me. I can look at each problem and take a deep breath and see just how much of it is me, and how much is other people, and own my parts and let go of the rest.

Powerless is what I feel when people are saying one thing and doing another, and it affects me. For example, telling me that I have X amount of work to do, then telling me that my work is worth nothing. That opposite attitude really bothers me and leaves me feeling unable to win, unable to succeed. It saps my strength. Of course, there is no way to WIN it. You have to work through it, find a strategy that works for you.

What kind of power attracts you? Repels you?

I think it depends a lot on what you mean. The kind of power I want is personal power; the power to make my own decisions, create my own future, build my own dreams. That's what attracts me for myself. In others, though, I like strength of personality. I want to be around people who are able to be blunt and honest, even if it prickles a bit. That "bleeding edge" honesty is a source of strong and abiding power in my opinion. It speaks of a lack of interest in other people's drama, and strength of personality. I also like powerful people who are able to take control of a situation when it's appropriate. Misuse of power repels me. People who have power (for whatever reason) who then abuse it, really makes me ill. Priests who molest children or adults in their care, preachers who dupe thousands of dollars from their "flock", doctors who cop a feel, teachers who are nasty just because they can be... These things make me feel physically ill.

What are symbols of power to you?

Truth is a strong symbol of power. Honesty. Love. Intelligence. Physical symbols would include uniforms, badges, special vehicles (fire truck, police car, etc). Religiously speaking, any symbol of a god is powerful to me, whether it is a cross, an ankh, a star, a pentagram, or an Ohm.

How was power used in your family?

Power was often misused in my family. My  mother thought that being brutal in her punishments, whether deserved or not, was the way to keep me in line. Her use of power was never designed to teach me to be a good adult; it was designed to make me kiss the hem of her robe in abject misery, to enforce her authority over me.

How has power been acted out in intimate relationships?

I have a very interesting exchange of power within my relationships. I am a strong, able person who wants to be the captain of her own ship, and yet I also enjoy the power that I willingly give to my partner at home. This isn't the place to talk about that power exchange, though.

How do you know the difference between fulfilling a mission and being a "chosen one"?

I think that the difference would be in the duration. If I have a mission, then when it is done I am done. Being a "chosen one" would imply that power and/or authority was kind of open-ended, going on until people become disillusioned.

What do you consider to be "enough" -- enough money, popularity, accomplishments, and so forth?

I think the answer is different for different things. For me, enough money would be enough to pay all the bills, pay off some of the debt at a reasonable pace, and have some left over for both savings and for spending on things we want rather than need. Popularity I've never really cared about, and so very little is enough. If my friends are true and like me, that's just fine. Accomplishments, on the other hand, consume me. When I do homework, it must be letter perfect. I must put my utmost into every project, no matter how large or small. I never just throw something together at the last minute. I struggle and spin over each and every word.

How do you feel about money and service?

This is a tough one. For a long time I refused to take money for any religious service. My Wiccan training had put a tainted spin on money that was hard to walk away from. Now, having seen the methods of the more organized religious institutions, I understand that it's okay to take some, but I am not quite as mercenary as some. I would never turn away a couple who wanted to get married but didn't have enough cash, for instance. I'd simply adjust my fees to a level they could afford. I'm not interested in "ministry for money" but I also have bills to pay. As an example, in the creation of a wedding, I can put upwards of 50 hours of work into it. Those hours are taken away from school, family, chores, and any other jobs I might have. I also have transportation costs, printing costs, and sometimes registration costs depending on county and State. If I'm providing candles and matches, music, or anything else, those too are out of pocket expenses. I see nothing wrong with expecting reparation for the work I have done. As I say, though, I never turn anyone away, and not being able to pay full price will never get you a "lesser" wedding.

What kind of people do you put on or off pedestals? Have you examined why you do either?

I used to put sexual partners on pedestals, but I don't do that anymore. Even the most wonderful partner still has feet of clay. I would do it because I had such a desperate, clinging need for love from anywhere. Once I began to learn a bit about self love, my need to put people up on those high platforms went down.
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