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Exploitation and oppression occur on both macro and micro levels. As we talk about and work to dismantle macro exploitation and oppression, we should also be doing that work on a micro level, in ourselves, in our circles, on our jobs and in our families ‘less we talk about but not be about real change.
How often does the concept of a woman who knows her worth and value come up in conversation, especially when delving into the topic of dating? Men often say, “ I love a woman who knows her worth, she won’t allow me treat her any kind of way, because she knows her value”.
This brings into question the strong woman. There are many definitions of strength, some real and some illusory and so many times they get crossed up. Sometimes we perceive something as strong when it is really insecurity and fear masking itself as strong and untouchable. And on the other side of this same mountain what many perceive as weakness can in all actuality be considered strength. But these misplaced values make sense in a world where we’ve been taught that domination and control is true power and that the lack of power leaves you subject to the will of others.
Anyone who has ever been insecure knows what it looks, sounds and acts like; we know how to recognize it in other people. It’s not hard to identify. I am able to recognize insecurity in others because I am able to recognize it within myself.
One thing that always baffled me is how we justify harming someone based on their own lack of self assurance and worth. We tell a person, “you were mistreated because you allowed it” and while there is much to be gained from that thought process, it also fails in many aspects. It encourages victimization, guilt and shame. Basically tells a person if you were better this wouldn’t have happened to you. It completely negates the truth that the dynamics of relationships, be it work, friends or lovers is a co-creation between those involved, therefore there is shared responsibility. What is said about those who gain power by knowing/exploiting the weaknesses of others?
It’s funny how we elevate “strong” women, women who don’t take bs and sometimes who even use their power to harm others. We fail to acknowledge and value those who are truly stong, are strong because they’ve been weak. And women who use power over others to harm them instead of sharing power with others to empower them, are actually weak, insecure and afraid. Someone who is truly in their power can empower others without feeling scared or threatened. They don’t seek to exploit another’s insecurity in order to feel strong and powerful yet they seek to inspire others to stand righteously in their own power.
In life, our outward circumstance reflect our inner circumstance. The way we act reflect what we believe or accept to be true. We draw to us opportunities to continue operating in these beliefs or opportunities to heal and release beliefs that no longer serve us, thus reprogramming our subconscious and enabling us to make better more aligned choices through higher consciousness and awareness. If we believe that confrontation is a negative thing, that all dealings must be pleasant and agreeable we will avoid expressing our thoughts and feelings thereby diminishing our personal power, accepting less than desirable treatment, elevating someone else’s comfort over our own and choosing pleasantness over authenticity. When we do this, we give our power away. Instead of thinking of “confrontation” as unpleasant, it can be looked at as a necessary part of building strong relationships where all people involved feel valued and affirmed, even when things are awkward or when you don’t completely agree. It is ok to disagree. It is ok to let someone know how you feel, listen to how they feel and explore more affirming ways of relating for the future. The key is that all people feel valued, loved and respected.
Hurt people hurt people and anyone who harms others knowingly or unknowingly need to be made aware; they need truth, compassion, empathy and a mirror. They need to be supported in their healing and growth. They need to know that certain behavior isn’t ok.
Everyone at one point in time or another has been insecure or has insecurities. Everyone has been hurt or traumatized in some way. We all deal with these experiences differently. Some people allow these experiences to cause them to become calloused. They decide they’ll never be in a position to be harmed, abandoned or rejected again. They need to be in control to feel comfortable, to compensate for fear of being hurt again. On the other hand some people are so afraid of disappointing others they behave in a way that sends the message “i value you and your needs/desires over mine”. They are people pleasers. Both types fear rejection, abandonment and isolation from people they value.
Go inward. Seek to understand. Seek to learn and grow. Seek to bring those things that aren’t conscious into the conscious. You will learn that the only acceptance you need is your own, and no one else can satisfy your desire to be loved and accepted. You gain the power and confidence to be authentic everywhere and with everyone because you know that anyone who truly loves you and truly loves themselves, would want nothing less.
People are at varying points on the journey of self-awareness, self-love and self-acceptance and wherever they are, wherever you are is fine. No judgement is necessary.
As a light-being, educator, organizer, artist and practitioner of healing arts my goal and my aim is to first learn of and stand in my own personal power, then to inspire others to know and stand in their personal power. My goal is to hold power with others, not over others, to empower others to see, accept and walk in their brilliance. We are all better for it.
For more content and information on workshops and events follow my Youtube, Facebook (recently deactivated my personal IG and FB), website and blog. Until we share again, much love, peace and power to you!