Empowerment means different things…

Written by on February 19, 2008 in The Healing Journey with 0 Comments

Empowerment means different things under different circumstances. Sometimes empowerment means saying yes to a situation. Sometimes it means saying no.

One of the things I’m learning is that empowerment is not reactionary.

To be reactionary is to say “no” to every “yes” and “yes” to every “no”. It’s finding yourself on the end of a string with the puppeteer counting on your defiance. If someone says “yes”, you have to say “no”. If someone says “no”, you have to say “yes”.

You might think this means you’re powerful. “You can’t make me do what you want me to”, but if we go through our whole lives enslaved to having to have the exact opposite stance to whatever is presented to us, then we are no more free than if we acquiesced to every request and demand.

And sometimes being empowered doesn’t mean acting as if there was nothing wrong, but acknowledging the pitfalls and shortcomings of any given situation and making the best of it. This entails addressing each situation that affords you the greatest respect or honoring of your human dignity – even if none of the choices are particularly great.

I had to make a choice between not being with people I really care about, because of convoluted dynamics existing between other individuals or to be there anyway and censure myself the entire evening. I chose to go without the company of people I liked this time rather than to not be myself. I would exercise my ability to create other opportunities for a more authentic time with my friends.

While neither were great options, and I did feel disappointment at missing this evening, I made the choice that felt the least abusive and most respectful to me as a person. That’s empowerment.

Empowerment is making choices that are respectful of who you are and what you believe in, even if the choices themselves are limited.

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About the Author

About the Author: Demian Yumei, author, singer/songwriter and artist activist, uses spoken, written word and original songs in her human rights activism. "For the Sake of Love” is her collection of songs written on Demian's healing journey, and “Little Yellow Pear Tomatoes” is a children’s book she wrote for her daughter about the interconnectedness of life published by Illumination Arts and endorsed by Jane Goodall. Currently, Demian is working on recording episodes for her podcast and writing on the "Where There's Smoke Series on Covert Abuse". .

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