When you feel life dragging you down, do you let it?
Many forces are at work in our lives to disempower us. They can be single events, or ongoing struggles: the loss of a loved one, an illness or injury, or some form of assault. The society in which we live can make us feel coerced and manipulated to behave in a certain way, or we may find our options limited by prejudice, or the result of prior choices.
These are real problems that deserve serious consideration, but when we allow them to dominate our lives, we learn to view ourselves as victims.
And as victims, we are passive.
Passivity is a strong temptation. It’s easy. Passivity means we don’t have to do anything. And the bigger the burden is, the stronger the temptation to surrender the power we have to fight back.
Bad things happen to all of us—they’re inevitable. But when they come, we have a choice to make about how we respond. If we choose to focus on ourselves as a victim, we allow those things to define our lives. Instead of living strong lives, aware of our own agency, we become helpless.
Empowerment is the opposite of helplessness.
It allows us to take action against injustice. It means that when wrong comes our way, we don’t have to accept it as insurmountable. We can take the initiative in reaching out to those around us for support, and we can ask for help honestly, knowing that we’re doing our part to pull ourselves up. Empowerment reminds us of our own strength and equips us with the tools we need to change our lives.
Sometimes, life gets hard. And when it does, we have to look our challenges in the face and remember: we can do this.
We are powerful.
What are situations in your life that make you feel disempowered? How can you take action?