I’ve heard it said that there are two kinds of power, the kind that comes from within our spirit and the kind that comes from our ego. The power from within values life, sees others as equal, and welcomes opportunities for collaboration and compromise. The power from the ego values dominance, sees others in a pecking order, and gages threats to one’s status with each interaction. We all can have moments of using each kind of power, but if you look at a person’s life you’ll typically see one kind of power usage prevailing.
If you live mostly out of the power from within, you’re likely to feel a strong discord when interacting with someone whose power mode is that of the ego. Yet because you’re inclined to be a peacemaker and to see others as the Spirit sees them, you may still make room for this person in your life. That comes with a cost, however, and one needs to keep firm boundaries to manage such relationships in a healthy way.
If you live mostly out of the power from the ego, you’re simply not tuned in to anyone else from a feelings standpoint. The strong self-focus in this power system results in indifference toward others beyond what they can do to boost your perception of self. And if you are not permitted to exercise power over another you will simply create a false narrative to diminish them. In the end, the goal is to protect you from feeling vulnerable. But it’s a false sense of protection because the sad reality is that people who glean their sense of power from the ego miss the best parts of life, real intimacy.
Can one move from ego power to authentic power? Only if they choose to become very honest with themselves — about their wounds and fears, offenses and shame, hopes and dreams. Those with entrenched, harmful patterns may require a “bottoming out” experience to crack them open, to ignite a radical conversion. And in order for that breakthrough to hold, daily inner work is required — to intentionally love undefended.
Anyone who has ever made such a leap between the two kinds of power will tell you emphatically it was worth it. Embracing the power from within is what makes us come alive, aligns us with our Creator, and ensures that we really live life to the fullest in relationship with one another and the world around us.
May you be inspired!