What is it in the nature of us humans that makes us confuse real inner power, true inner strength, with not feeling our emotions? What makes us think that feeling little and weak is the same as not being strong? Human beings go through all manners of emotional and mental contortions to avoid feeling the feelings of feeling vulnerable. Vulnerable often gets mistaken for being weak. However, the opposite is true.
The most courageous individuals are the ones who are able to acknowledge, especially to themselves, that they are frightened, or sad, or anxious when facing a life challenge. Let’s face it. It is easier to mask those feelings with bravado, a nice stiff drink, a joke, a toke, or just plain old general-business denial.
And why not deny? It is normal to want to avoid pain, especially emotional pain, and it is understandable to want to present to the world that you are not hurting inside. After all hurting makes you feel vulnerable and feeling vulnerable can make you hurt. But it is not necessary to announce your feelings of vulnerability to the world; what matters is your knowing that you have those feelings. That awareness opens the door to real inner power.
For when you are feeling these multi-faceted emotions that are in the emotional pot called, “vulnerable,” you are at a point of real potential for the growth of inner strength. Real inner power as I have come to understand it has a few key ingredients.
1. Having the ability to recognize what you are feeling, especially the more painful feelings.
2. Having the ability to access your psychic/intuitive knowing to help you understand what is going on inside of you.
3. The ability to keep presence of mind that knows you are strong, even if tough situations, in order to problem solve.
4. Having enough self-esteem to be responsible for the consequences of your choices without self-blame or Self criticism, but willingness to accurately evaluate the outcomes.
5. Being willing to recognize and change unproductive or ineffective behaviors by understanding that this is an important way that you can grow even stronger.
These are five important ingredients that I identify as belonging to true inner power. You might be able to think of others that seem important to you. For some of you, inner strength may include a belief in a Higher Power, or a religious or spiritual path that gives you the faith you need in a time of struggle.
In whatever way you define real inner power, the bottom line is that it involves knowing yourself and having the resources to carry on when you feel small, frail and vulnerable. Real inner power means you can carry on when times are difficult; you can believe in your Self, when you doubt yourself; and you can make good decisions even when you are afraid of making the wrong ones.
With real inner power you will have resilience, courage, perseverance, and inner strength to deal with what life deals out. How do you think about true inner power? How has it manifested in your own life? Reflecting on your inner strength can make you realize how strong you really are.