Spectrum of Consistency: The Power People Hold Over Us

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It’s funny that the posts I intend to write are never the ones that end up being written – at least right away. There’s usually something else on my mind, something deeper that I have to dive into. Something I haven’t acknowledged in my conscious state that finds its way through this mode. Today I was hoping to talk about shame in relation to work, which is definitely coming soon, but instead, I’m going to discuss power. Specifically, I’ll be talking about the power people hold over you. Or rather, the power we allow people to hold over us.

Power is an interesting thing. As a child and growing up, I recognized it as something fatalistic; an egoic way of being. If your life were directed towards gaining power, then you were likely on the wrong path. I understood power in relation to anger. Both of them must coincide, I assumed, mostly because that’s the way I saw it play out in my own home. Power was inflated with money and anger. Power instills fear in others. In the spectrum of a black and white world, power is the most negative of them all.

As I grew, I found myself battling others in a way that I refused to let them have power over me. I was a variation between a pushover and someone who was obstinate. I became better and better at catching someone when they were trying to take advantage of me. In the same respect, I put myself down every time I let it slide and forgave them without even acknowledging the matter of fact. In some cases, I find that I really was getting better at recognizing the parasites I allowed into my life. In other cases, I was only inflating my triggers.

I was an extremist – either letting people walk all over me or cutting them out cold. There was no room for compromise. In my world, there was no reason for it to exist at all. I like giving everything I have to the people I love, but I found that I often attracted those who simply liked to take. So my theory of power therefore was proven time and time again.

In psychology, this sort of behaviour is theorized as the confirmation bias – aka, as the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of your existing beliefs or theories. I was looking for these people, attracting them, for the sole purpose of remaining consistent in my belief.

These people in my life were power-hungry, I imagined. That must be the case. And I, aloof, ignorant, and not nearly as self-aware as I am today, can only continue to get caught in their web. There are only two types of people in the world: Those who want power, and those who want freedom. I, of course, fell on the latter. That’s the way I understood things to be. It was easy, simple, and black and white. But now I understand that it’s also not true.

I think I reached a point where I was willing to be more openminded with what power can actually mean. And from there, I learned that power has its own spectrum and that spectrum is dependant on intentionality. The truth is, there is nothing simple about what this word really means and similar to success, it can vary from person to person, depending on their beliefs and experience in the world. But in general, I think of power as the ability to have an effect on others whether that’s on a small or large scale.

If that’s true, then where power is rooted from is really who you are, because as we all know, our energy transfers and connects. Our effect on others, therefore, is contingent on our relationship with ourselves. Funny how everything always trickles down to this.

Whether we are aware of it or not, we have an effect on every person we meet, and even those we just walk next to on the street. We have an effect on our friends, our family, our partners, our neighbours, our co-workers, our clients. That is power. How we use that, and what we use it for, well, that’s dependant on our own nature. It’s easy to presume a negative connotation of power, but it’s like the sun. It can give you nutrients. It can shine light on your day. It has been proven to have a huge effect on your mood. But then again, it can also burn you. It can blind your eyes. It can do a lot of damage. But experiencing any of these results doesn’t make us turn to the sun and instill some sort of persona upon it. It just is what it is. Not good or bad, but whatever you make of it.

Another example being money – something many of us, myself included, have had a negative mindset about or maybe still do. But money is just a resource. How you use it is dependant on you.

When I understood ‘power’ in that same manner, it felt like everything shifted for me. For one, I didn’t feel like I had to submit to weakness only to avoid being egotistical. And secondly, I felt this sort of strength within myself (that was always there) finally find a space to expand itself. Having this belief system not only meant holding myself back, but it also meant actively suppressing certain parts of myself simply out of fear.

Like Leon Brown once said, “It all begins and ends in your mind. What you give power to, has power over you, if you allow it.”

The Unprecedented Life: Dissecting the Meaning of Comfort and Boredom

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Do you ever find yourself in the midst of excitement, inspiration, or just pure happiness and all of a sudden, not know what to do with yourself? Like suddenly you are ready to fly off the roof, dance around your apartment, sing in your shower, write that chapter, make that craft, or do that thing you were wanting to do for so long, but you just don’t know where to begin? You get so caught up in the emotion of it all that you reach a place of odds within yourself and start to wonder, ‘what now?’

I find the “what nows” to be the most problematic questions of them all. It begins the ever-looping game of self-destruction: a game that simply cannot be won. And most often, when you find yourself there, it becomes another tactic of foreboding joy. Fear is sneaky that way. It takes on many masks. It encloses you into a world of stagnancy and the possibility of a life outside of the one you are living becomes more and more distant. The funny thing is, in conversation, we have shaped this notion into something else entirely, only so we are able to justify why we are living in such a way. Suddenly boredom has become comfort.

So let’s talk about it. What exactly is comfort? Well, it’s defined as a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint.

Boredom, on the other hand, is defined as to tire or make weary by being dull, repetitious, or uninteresting.

The first point I’d like to make is that I have absolutely no idea how these two words began to encompass the same state of being. And second, I would argue that neither of these are bad places to be. Before you think I’m a lunatic, just hear me out for a minute!

I think boredom has a purpose, but not the one we’re conventionally used to understanding. Rob Bell says it perfectly in his podcast, where he explains that we used to have small gaps in our lives. Maybe the moments we were waiting in the doctor’s office for our checkup or waiting for your food to arrive at a restaurant, walking to work, etc. It’s in these moments where we have some free time to actually reflect and process what is going on with us. And within those moments of boredom, creativity is often born. Nowadays, however, we find ourselves filling those gaps with checking our phones, our email, texting, scrolling. We don’t have that same time to process, reflect, and digest our days. It’s such an insightful podcast and I’d definitely recommend giving it a listen!

 

When we talk about comfort, what I understand of it is that we are talking about an acceptance and a sense of knowing. Comfort does not always have to mean a sense of familiarity, though it can. But it can also mean knowing yourself completely and therefore, knowing what and who you need to surround yourself with, what you need at any given moment, and how to be still with yourself. Comfort means accepting where you are right now and encompassing this state of relaxation with your present self and this present moment.

When we dissect both of these words, we can understand that neither of them have the intention to create mundane lives for us. Neither of them are a war for us to battle. Both, however, do facilitate growth in some way, shape, or form.

When we ask the question of “what now?”, we’re talking in a place of dissatisfaction with our present state. We’re talking from a place where we haven’t gotten the chance to fully reflect on our days and ourselves. And we haven’t given our lives a chance to prove what the purpose of these moments are. Because if we were all to look back, there is a very distinct and subtle way in which the trajectory of our lives led us to who we were meant to become.

And something I continuously remind myself in moments where I step out of this comfort is a word by Hagrid, who once said, “What’s coming will come, and we will meet it when it does.”

Like Wildflowers: Of All the People We Are

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“Somedays
I am the flower.
Somedays,
I am the rain.”

– Pavana

As you can probably tell, I changed the look of this blog a little the other day. I wanted it to have the feel of a coffee shop that not a lot of people know about. The coffee shop that hides in plain sight and when you walk into it, it feels like home. I’ve been to my fair share of those and so when I was working on my logo and the theme, I wanted it to have that feeling attached to it. I don’t think I did such a bad job!

I went snowshoeing a few days ago and it was a pretty magical, and emotional experience. It was the first time I went back to the mountain where a past partner and I had memories climbing. The only difference was the season and how this time, I was going with someone new. I think that being aware of all my emotions during the hike up and why they were being brought up was crucial to how I got past them. I knew that this moment was reminiscent. It was a fragrance you wore years ago that when worn again, brought you back to a very specific point in your life.

Today will be spent learning how to ice skate, enjoying what remains of this winter before it’s time to move on completely. With that, I find that the weather changing has brought a lot of people back to life. The sun’s warmth, a reminder that it’ll always come back. That even when you forget, it’ll be there again. In that sense, the weather fluctuates but seasons hold on to this sort of consistency.

I guess we’re all like that: consistent and fluctuating. Growing whilst holding on to a sense of who we are and who we always were. I think that’s why I’ve always been interested in learning about people, why I took psychology in school, why I continue to research and communicate with people, listen and write about them. Human beings are so fascinating to me.

I feel as though I’ve stepped into yet another version of myself. That each version is getting closer to the person I’ve always been. That each discovery is bringing me back home. And with that comes a sense of freedom. Spring is coming and I believe it’s time again for all of us to take the lessons of winter and bloom once again.

It’s often said that every next level of your life will demand a different you, but every one of those people is closer to the person you were always meant to become.