What is the root, the real root of any crisis in our life? Most of us have probably never thought of such a question, but it’s important today…especially today.

Isn’t the root of any crisis that sudden sense of being powerless? That feeling as if the choices have been taken out of our hands; as if there is a future coming that we may or may not have any authority over?

But what if we don’t know what real power is? And because we don’t, we’re often handed off into a sense of being powerless that only produces, time and time again, a way in which we seek ways to control our condition instead of transcending the consciousness producing it.

True spiritual power isn’t the ability to imagine or implement an endless series of new solutions to old problems.  Rather, it’s a radical higher form of self-understanding, one that illuminates and transcends our unconscious need to have painful problems at all.

I mean, which would you rather have?  Your own personal fire truck and a fire to put out every day, or a life that has no painful fires in it at all?

The truth is, most of us spend a great deal of our time struggling (in vain I might add) to sort out one conflict or another with others, with the world, or within ourselves. Part of our ever-developing plan to win these wars requires that we acquire new powers—things that we imagine will empower us to end our suffering once and for all.

But past experience proves these exercises to be pointless. The very thing that we set out to obtain to make us fearless, to relieve us of our stress and anxiety, soon becomes the source of a new fear and a new pressure.

No path, no process that we’ve ever given to ourselves to free ourselves from some suffering, has ever actually succeeded, other than delivering us to where we have to try again to find that same way past a problem that didn’t exist until we acquired that new idea or image, that new path.

It’s not unlike an addict taking his drug of choice to release himself from that cyclical pain of his addiction. We continue to seek powers outside of us to free us from feeling powerless in the face of what pains us. It’s obvious that no drug the addict wants can free him from the drugs that he wants. What isn’t so obvious though is the following:

Each power we imagine will liberate us only strengthens our false belief that the power we need to free ourselves is somewhere outside of us, in someone else’s hands, or in some tomorrow yet to come.

We have no idea of the power with which we have been endowed. Within each of us dwells the possibility of realizing a level of consciousness whose freedom has no contingencies—one that cannot fall apart, even when the conditions in our lives seem to come undone as they do in the shock of any crisis. This special kind of power has nothing to do with being able to control or manipulate conditions outside of us.

We’re talking about authority over our own runaway negative reactions. That’s a completely different kind of power, isn’t it? To possess ourselves as opposed to trying to possess things or relationships, possessions through which we seek the measure of security but never actually secure it.

The power to possess ourselves can’t be granted by anyone or anything outside of us. All powers of the worldly order are powerless to grant us what our heart of hearts wants more than anything else, which is to quietly be in charge of our own heart and our own mind.

So, the next time that you’re overcome with a feeling as if you’re powerless, take this one interior action, and watch how that fear disappears:

Take a nice deep breath. Instead of looking at what your fear is telling you is greater than your power to deal with it—for instance a relationship that’s falling apart, a brewing storm of some kind because of unforeseen changes in the world around you, or a pending loss of some kind—instead of looking at what your fear is telling you to consider, instead look at the part of you that wants you to believe that who you are is inadequate to meet the challenge at hand.

Then, remember this truth: All feelings of being powerless are the false projections of a frightened level of consciousness that is not you and never has been, but has continued to steal your life, my life, everyone’s life in the endless ways in which it sees problems that then it alone has the power to resolve, or it alone crumbles beneath for the weight of its own dark imagining.

Real spiritual power is knowing that no moment is greater than your divine right to call upon an indwelling light (call it what you will), an awareness—some part of our consciousness—that for what it brings into the moment with itself transforms any darkness that it touches into something bright, true, good, and most importantly…free.

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