ACOL in Everyday Life
Embrace Your Power
Recognize what real power is and where it comes from, and overcome self-doubt and the feeling of being less than others
How depressing and even unfair it would be if we were truly powerless, victims of circumstance. How meaningless our lives would be if some invisible authority were pulling the strings of events during our lifetime. How can fear-based worldly systems and devices really empower us?
A Course of Love (ACOL) reminds us that we are not powerless, but that the real power we possess does not come from individual achievements in a race we run in competition with others:
Seeking what you have lost in other people, places, and things is but a sign that you do not understand that what you have lost still belongs to you. What you have lost is missing, not gone. What you have lost is hidden to you but has not disappeared nor ceased to be.
Your quest for what is missing thus becomes the race you run against death. You seek it here, you seek it there, and scurry on to the next thing and the next. Each person runs this race alone, with hope only of victory for himself.
The injunction to rest in peace is for the living, not the dead. But while you run the race you will know it not.
Competition that leads to individual achievement has become the idol you would glorify, and you need not look far for evidence that this is so. This idolatry tells you that glory is for the few, and so you take your place in line at the starting gate and make your bid for glory.
And at some point, when you can run the race no more, you bow down to those who have achieved glory; they become your idols and you become their subjects, watching what they do with envy and with awe.
To these you make your sacrifices and pay your homage. To these you say, “I would be like you.” To these you look for a vicarious fulfillment, having given up any hope for real fulfillment.
Slaves and masters but use one another and the same laws bind both. Which is master and which is slave when both are held in bondage? The glory you give idols is but bondage as well. Without your idolatry their glory would be no more, and so they live in fear no less than that of those who idolize them.
There is a power inherent in the center of our being, available to everyone without exception. It is the power of creation, a power that enables us to create anew, to make new choices and create new experiences in life.
No one can take this power away from us, but since this power proceeds from the Self of unity rather than the self of separation, we won’t be able to create from this power unless and until we return awareness to our real Self. As ACOL puts it:
Power is possessed by those who claim it. By those who cry I AM. For the beginning of power comes from the rejection of powerlessness. The rejection of powerlessness is but a step toward your identity achieved through the awakening of love of Self.
God forsakes no people, but people forsake God when they give away their power and claim not their birthright. Your birthright is simply the right to be who you are, and there is nothing in the world that has the power to take this right from you. The only way you lose it is by giving it away. And this you do.
If a talented physician were to give up his power to heal you would surely call it a waste, and yet you give up your power to be who you are and think it is just the way life is. You give away your power and then bow down to those whom you have given it to, for you are afraid of nothing more than your own power.
Power is the expression of who you are. Only lack of expression leads to powerlessness. No true expression is possible until you know who you are. To know who you are and not to express who you are with your full power is the result of fear.
The laws of fear were laws of struggle, limits, danger, and competitiveness. The laws of love are laws of peace, abundance, safety, and cooperation.
Your actions and the results of your actions in a universe of love will naturally be different from your actions and the results of your actions in a universe of fear.
Claiming your identity and your power to make choices is an act that comes from an entirely different place than decision-making. Claiming is akin to prayer and is but an asking, an asking for your true inheritance.
True power is, therefore, a power we share in oneness. It’s not a power that makes us “powerful” at the expense of someone else’s “powerlessness.” It’s not a power that makes us special or superior to anyone, but a power that flows effortlessly when we express our authentic Self.
This power cannot be misused because it’s unavailable to the ego-self. We feel empowered and at the same time empower those whose lives we touch.
Embracing your power is an act that happens in the present, instead of the outcome of some future event. Full acceptance of your Self in the present unleashes the power of now.
All power to effect change comes from acceptance—not acceptance of the way things are, but acceptance of who you are in the present. Not through acceptance of the way you want to be but of the way you are now.
There will be many things within your life that will take some time to change, but many others that can change instantly through this radical acceptance.
You will find, once you have begun to practice acceptance of the present, that there will be far fewer things you do not like, and that you will be shown, in the relationship you have in the present, the response to those you still do.
Turn your thoughts not to ideals of social activism, to causes, or to championing any one side over another. Turn not to your thoughts but to your feelings and go where they lead. And everywhere they lead you, remember one thing only. Remember to embrace your power.
The power of love is the cause and effect that will change the world by returning you, and all your brothers and sisters, to who they are in truth. This cannot be done from without but must be done from within. It is the transformation that is caused within that will affect the world without.
What we have called illusion is this simple nothingness of existence without relationship to God, and thus existence without relationship to the power of creation.
Are you willing to experience the power of God? To let it flow through you? Realize how many have said no to this request. Realize the importance and the power of your willingness to say YES.
The source of what you seek outside lies within you.
KNOW YOUR SELF and start experiencing the life you've always wanted.
SUGGESTED READING FROM A COURSE OF LOVE:
The Course, Chapter 9: The Prodigal’s Return
The Course, Chapter 16: What You Choose Instead
The Course, Chapter 20: The Embrace
The Course, Chapter 29: Attention
The Dialogues, The Forty Days and Forty Nights, Day 8: Accept the Present
The Dialogues, The Forty Days and Forty Nights, Day 10: Power
The Dialogues, The Forty Days and Forty Nights, Day 34: Saying Yes to Power
The Dialogues, The Forty Days and Forty Nights, Day 36: Who You Are in Unity and Relationship