Hello dear reader(s)!
Have you ever been without power? Do you feel powerless right now?
I don’t. But I did.
About an hour ago, in fact. I had no power. Because a snowstorm yesterday caused limbs and trees to fall onto power lines. But my power was restored!
In the non-literal sense, have you ever felt powerless? I have.
The times I have felt the most powerless though (with the exception of being diagnosed, a few awful points during the fight, and when I learned Hannah was not going to make it) were the times I gave my power to someone else. I did this a lot when I was younger, particularly if I had a crush on someone. I would allow them to dictate how I feel without my full willingness to allow it. I would allow that person to change me away from me, and make me less attractive in the process. Because power attracts. It is universal.
So in allowing people to take that power from me, thinking I would be a better person for them, I also allowed those people to make me less attractive to them. This is why the advice of “Be Yourself” is so accurate. You have power when you are you. When you are behaving in a fundamentally different way from the person you are, you are weak.
Last night, I got a friend request from someone from my past on Facebook. This person has manipulated me before, made me think she changed, I fell for it again, and she just did the same thing. She contacted me a few times before I met Hannah, but after I had enough, and I told her I wasn’t interested. She contacted me once during my relationship (we were engaged at the time, I believe) with Hannah and I told her I was unavailable. What I never did was told her I didn’t want her to contact me again. Until last night. Despite the fact that I probably have every reason as much as anyone else to make some bad decision out of loneliness or fear of being alone, I told her never to bother me again. Then I blocked her on Facebook. Then I may or may not have made a passive aggressive status update about it, ensuring it was public. (I’m not perfect!)
I have my power back. It is a great feeling. I’m not lonely or scared.
Tonight, I am going to play a song, by myself, in front of people on a stage. Being mostly a drummer, I have always felt safe behind the band. Tonight I will be the only one on there while I play. Am I scared?
No. A little nervous, of course. The cold has made my throat froggy. It has made my fingers hurt. When I played through it a couple of times this morning I tripped over the strings once or twice. But I really don’t care. Because I’m going to do it. I’m going to do it and it is going to be fine. And if I make a couple of mistakes or my voice is all over the place, then so what? Try again next time. Keep practicing. Learn from it and move on.
Because here is what I realized the last time I was at that particular place. Nobody cares. And that is how it is in life too. People are much more self-absorbed that they get credit for. And that is a good thing. When I was there, I noticed the music. Most of it was good. Sure, I heard a flub here and there, but once it happened it was a non-thought in my mind. The only person who stood out was the guy who did a nasally cover of a song I hate. The only reason it stood out was because I hate that song, and I thought the whole point of this was for songwriters to share their music. Even though that stood out, I couldn’t pick that guy out of a lineup. I don’t know his name. I was too busy thinking about the conversations that I was in at the time. I was thinking about whether I should talk to that girl. (I shouldn’t have, long story.) I was too busy thinking about me.
Being that I try very hard not to be selfish, if I go through most of my life thinking about me and what I want, what does that say about them?
Now, I am not saying you should never put others’ needs above yours. If a friend of mine was hurt and needed a ride to the hospital, and I had tickets to some great concert…I’m giving that friend a ride. But if that same friend wants to use me to feel better about herself, it isn’t going to happen as soon as I realize what’s going on. (I can be a little slow there.)
So tonight I’m going to go up there and destroy! And if I don’t…fuck it, I will next time. Most people aren’t even going to remember very long after it is over. I win just by getting up there and trying.
If I’m in a relationship, I will not allow people to fundamentally change me. I might take their assistance in working on the things I myself want to improve, but I will never allow them to change me into something I don’t already want to be.
In my early relationships, I allowed that person to remove me from all of my friends. Only one person did it on purpose, the rest was just a desire to spend too much time together. That will never happen again. I have made it a point to keep in touch with my friends. Sometimes with the person I was with, sometimes by myself. Because someone is much easier to control when they are isolated…It is much easier to take their power. So encourage those people you are with to see their friends and family. Demand it for yourself.
I guess the point of all this babbling is to remind you all to never give your power away. Use it for good, but embrace your power. If you want to let someone make you feel good every time they talk to you, do that. Don’t allow them to make you feel bad on the days they don’t. Keep your power to yourself.
But remember, as Uncle Ben said…
“The rice is cooked.”