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A lot of people are talking about “empowerment” these days.  Schools want to empower their teachers, parents want to empower their children, management wants to empower their workers, cities want to empower their citizens.

But, what I have found is that when your boss tells you he/she is going to empower you to make more decisions, that usually means that he/she is going to do less work and you are going to end up doing more of it.  And when cities tell their citizens that their local government is going to empower them to take care of their own neighborhoods, that usually means that the city is over budget and they are going to be cutting back on the staff who used to take care of your neighborhood.

That is not true empowerment.  True and real empowerment means that each one of us holds a tremendous power within us.  What is this power?  The power that lives within us is our creative energy, our inner peace, our capacity to love, and our inner strength.  And that power is an incredible force raging on the inside of us, waiting to be called to action.

Yet, when you give your power away, you weaken yourself and become tired, wounded, drained, discouraged.  In a word:  Powerless. 

Then, how do you give your power away?

Every time you let yourself get upset and frustrated by the rush hour traffic to and from work, you are giving your power away.  Every time you let your family irritate and exasperate  you, you are giving your power away.  Every time you watch in envy and spite as your co-worker gets promoted and you don’t, you are giving your power away.  Every time you think about someone who hurt you and you get angry and resentful, you are giving your power away.

If we really think about it, we give away a little bit of our power everyday.  And to whom and for what?  Mostly to situations, to people, and to things that don’t really matter and don’t even deserve it.  No wonder we feel drained at the end of the day.  And what do we have left to give to those people and situations that really matter in our lives?  

If only we could stand majestically as the mighty mountain does.  So when the storms of life rage around us, taunting us to become angry, depressed, bitter, jealous, hopeless; we could say, like the mountain, “No matter how hard the wind howls, I will not bow to it.  I will not give up my peace, my energy, my joy.  I will not be moved.”  

Start saving your creative energy for your true purpose in life, your life’s mission.  Start saving your inner peace by playing uplifting music or audio programs during your commute and accepting that there will be traffic.  Start saving your capacity to love for those close to you and for those less fortunate than you by releasing the anger and resentment towards those who have hurt you.  Start saving your strength to be a positive role model and to make positive changes in your lives and the world around you by turning off those programs and websites that only fill your mind with negativity.

Try as the wind might.  Try as the storms of life might.  Try as the daily trials of life might.  Nothing and no one can take your inner power away from you.  Only you can give it away.  Only you can preserve it.