It's 5 am and you can't sleep so you get up and play a game of "Cookie Jam" on your phone. Once the light hits the glass panes behind the curtains, you are reminded, again, of just how many problems you have, and how sad your day is going to be. The boyfriend left, you have no money in your bank account, your father is ill and you cannot afford to visit him, and the list goes on. At 8 am you call your best friend but she does not have time to talk to you. Today is your day off from work and you realize that the sadness is almost overwhelming.
If the day continues like this, you may well find yourself over-eating, binge drinking, crying, looking at questionable content on the web, etc. But, it does not have to be like this. You CAN be the mistress of your own happy and successful life by empowering yourself, and not depending on other people's approval of you to create our own success in life.
Too often we sit around and wait for others to like us before we can begin to like ourselves. We wait for that perfect lover who will show us that we are worthwhile, lovable people. We wait for friends to call us and shower us with compliments and well wishes. We long to be loved, and yet...we refuse to love ourselves. We cannot receive what we do not give.
Empowering ourselves requires us to "be that change we want to see in the world". It requires us to give words of encouragement to people we know who are down and depressed. It requires us "dressing the part" putting on the nicest outfit we own, keeping our fingernails clean, our homes clean, and our lives uncluttered and simplified. When we find ourselves sitting at the bottom of the proverbial barrel, empowering ourselves means not waiting for a hand up and out, but being that hand up and out.
A friend of mine, who I'll call Margo, had spent 15 years in a relationship with a verbally and sometimes physically, abusive man who constantly berated her and told her how worthless she was. She went to counseling many times, trying to fix herself and make herself perfect for her husband, only to find out that there was nothing she could do or change about herself to make her husband love her. Margo was devastated and fell into a weak and vulnerable state of depression. Things could have ended badly for Margo, but with just a little bit of encouragement from some friends, she gathered the strength and courage to have her husband physically removed from their home after a particularly frightening bout of verbal abuse and threats made towards her and her friends.
It wasn't easy for Margo to have her husband put out of their home. She loved him very much, but after he was gone for a few months, her mind became more clear and she could see how things had actually been. It was during this time that she sought ways of empowering herself so that she could get on with her life. The hardest thing to do had been to learn to love herself, but as she began to take better care of herself, wear nicer clothes, get her hair and nails done without worrying about her husband flying into a jealous rage, she was able to be a better friend to others who needed her. Little by little her strength increased each day, and with an increase in her own personal power, she became happier and more outgoing, and more fun to be around.
Eventually, Margo attracted a man into her life who loved to sit with her and chat while she milked goats in the evening, who wasn't afraid of cats or spiders, and told her he loved her every day. Eventually, she was able to look at her old relationship for what it really was, and began helping other women, like herself, who found themselves involved with weak men who sought to feel stronger by stealing power from other people. We can never become powerful by making others weak. The power must be given away, in love, for both ourselves and others, to be realized. Only when we truly love ourselves will we become personally empowered and create our own success in life.