My brother’s FaceBook post today was really inspiring. I asked him if I could share it with you:

“Early Tuesday morning was unpleasantly cold. I laid under warm covers and debated: ‘Run? Or lay here.’ Eventually I worked up the will-power and laced up my shoes. Super glad I did, because on the banks of the Zumbro, for the first time since we moved to Rochester, I saw a great blue heron.

It made me want to read more about herons, and as I did, this one became a symbol to me. Like us right now, blue herons practice social distancing; this is their solitary season. And they’re patient. The National Wildlife Federation writes, ‘For the great blue heron, patience and immobility are its stock in trade.

But when the time is right blue herons also fly. Thoreau once wrote about blue herons in a journal entry: ‘It is a grand sight to see them rise, so slow and stately, so long and limber, with an undulating motion from head to foot. With this graceful, limber, undulating motion they arose, their two legs trailing parallel far behind like an earthly residuum to be left behind.

Right now we each stand solitary. We must be patient. But when the time is right we too will fly and leave behind covid19 and its repercussive ‘earthly residuum.’ It will have changed us. But it will no longer ground us.”

Brooke posed the question in her podcast: What is power to you?

Like the great blue heron, maybe power is patience. We are not in hurry to get out of where we are. We are not in a hurry to solve all our problems. We understand that no emotion lasts, so we can patiently lean into the emotion, not resist it. We can lean into uncomfortable situations. We can lean into difficult relationships. We are not in a hurry.

But also, like the blue heron, power is flying! When the time is right, we can’t be held back. The Lord is on our side. Ingenuity is our gift from Him. We are filled with love – remember, love creates our best, most creative, most confident, most genius self when you’re operating in love – and we fly!

Maybe power is “slow and stately … with an undulating motion from head to foot.”

Maybe power is “graceful, limber … (rising) their two legs trailing parallel far behind like an earthly residuum to be left behind.”

I love this imagery. Thanks, Ben!

Let’s look at this today. What is power? And where does it come from?

“Power is peace.

True power never needs to control other people. True power never needs to force and put down and degrade the people outside of them. (Because) power is generated within, they don’t need to put other people down or control other people in order to feel good about themselves.

True power is the opposite of destruction. It is creation. It is uplifting things outside of us … (It’s) moving forward…

Power is the ability to manage emotions and not react to them…

Power is a skill we have to practice and develop. It’s not a one-time win…

Power doesn’t come from something outside of us. When we try to create or define our power externally, we end up forcing and trying to control, and we are in a rush, and we wear ourselves out.

Here is another question to be curious about: Why do we want power? To do good? To change ourselves? To change the world? To prove something to someone? In hopes of defining our worth? To create a different experience in our lives than we are now living?

I think the why is very important. I was listening to a corporate motivational speaker, and this man says that will-power cannot do it. Brooke feels similarly. Will-power cannot guarantee our success. Rather, he suggests, we need to consider why-power.

He used the example of a man, atop a building. Another man says, I will pay you $100 to walk a wire between this building and the next. Does the man want $100. Sure. But not enough to walk the wire. $200. No. $1000. No. But then the man hears his child on the roof of the other building crying painfully. And the man, without thinking about it, walks the wire.

If the why behind the change is strong enough, than we can succeed at things that will-power could never do for us.

Why. If we want to cultivate power, we need to consider our why. Is our why strong enough? Does if reflect who we want to be, ultimately?

Tomorrow I want to look at what generates power. If pride and force and position don’t create internal power, what does?


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