Take a second to comprehend what strengths and power you have.

How do the others perceive you? If you took a sheet of paper and a pencil, what would you list as the assets you have that you’re proud to own? And, difficult though this may seem, think also about the parts of your character that you feel could be more positive and life-affirming.

All the things that you list have an impact on the world around you and on your relationships. You might be a good listener, and find that people come to you as someone willing to give time to help with their problems. Are you witty? Do you make people laugh with your observations on life and its absurdity? Do people see you as a leader?

How about those things that you don’t feel comfortable about owning? Maybe you sometimes feel overcome by envy, or anger. Perhaps you feel you have too much pride, and wish that you could be more humble in your achievements and successes.

How you show those facets of yourself has a direct impact on those around you; you are in possession of huge potential for power.

Power needs to be used wisely. Not for personal gain. Not for control over another person’s life. Power has such formidable energy, it’s easy to see how people in history have exploited it and turned it into a weapon.

We need to learn from those lessons of history and understand how best to handle it.

You’ve seen throughout history how world leaders have abused their power in crushing the spirit and life out of their citizens or those of other countries. You’ve seen how people in your community bully others into doing what suits them. It makes them feel important and valued, superior and strong.

After all, the strength that comes from power doesn’t need to be physical. Knowing and understanding that you have power can help you identify how best to use it and where it can be used to its most loving of advantages. And knowing that you have this power will help you learn how not to abuse it.

Just as power can overwhelm, and suffocate, in the right hands it can also illuminate, like a candle flame in a dark room.

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