I have been thinking a lot lately about power. Who has it. How it is accumulated. How it moves. What it looks and feels like. For to be in a position of power is to influence. It is to control. It is to have authority over. It is to determine. It is to be sovereign.

Given the life-giving or life-denying impact power has on us individually and collectively, it would be wise for us to explore its role in our lives. As in, who has it and who doesn’t. As in, how one gets it, and what it is that we are truly going for here.

To understand power more fully requires going to what lies behind it all. In other words, what’s the motivation for what’s being done? Or required. Seems like as good a place as any to determine for ourselves whether what is in power is in fact in one’s best interest, and the best interest of the common good, or not. For there is a vast and life-altering difference between power distorted and power authentically come by.

Here’s what I have come to so far:

Power distorted is concentrated, self-serving, and exclusive.

Power that is authentic shares itself, considers the whole, and is inclusive.

Distorted power separates, forces, and demands the status quo be upheld.

Authentic power brings us together, invites, and dares to walk in the unknown.

Power coming from distortion derives from without and imposes from the top down; demanding control and domination while insisting on obedience.

Power coming from an authentic source springs from within and grows from the bottom up; seeking consensus and partnership while claiming sovereignty.

Distorted and coercive power manipulates the lower survival centers of the brain through its messages of fear, while authentic power speaks to a kind of Truth within that reverberates through every single layer of us.

Look around at what is happening now. Feel it in your bones. Sense it in your guts. Look for it under your skin. Do you know the difference between a power that takes advantage of your fears, and one that seeks only your highest good and what it is that truly heals?

If not, get help. Help around how to tell the difference between real and imagined fears. For if you would like to contribute at this moment in time, this is one of the greatest contributions you will ever make. For when you can determine for yourself what it is that you will believe in, and what it is that you will not, you will find your way to authentic power, rendering distorted power, obsolete.