• Jackie Brubaker

Food For Thought: Know Your Power

Whenever I hear people talk about how they knew themselves at 30 years old I Iaugh a little on the inside. I’m glad I’m laughing now because when I had just turned thirty I felt less like laughing and more like asking, you do?

While I had some pretty solid stuff under my belt at thirty I still felt so young in some ways. I felt like I had so much time to find the right person and build my career and see the world. But, more than that I felt there were still areas in my knowing that seemed hazy and lost somewhere in a deep forest I was trying to see through.

I used to have a recurring dream where I couldn’t see where I was. It was almost like I was wearing really thick glasses and the prescription was totally wrong. My vision would only clear up enough to see a little of where I was at times. But, mainly I was legally blind in the dream. Now, my vision in real life is similar to that and if I don’t put my glasses in the same spot after taking them off each time I will literally not be able to find them. If things weren’t always in their spot I would bump into them. I know this because I have.

That’s a little like how I felt at thirty. I could see some stuff, but it only came into focus when I learned the lesson. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my thirties may be the art of knowing your power.

Knowing your power is simply the power to say no, to say yes, to leave, to stay, to go out, to stay in. As simple as this power is we’re all very guilty of forgetting that we have it.

If I were a super hero and this was my super power I think now would be the time that it finally switched on. I could feel it powering up for years. I even used it a little here and there. But, it wasn’t until recently in the last few years that I realized I had it.

I love the feeling that when I decide I’m ready to leave a party or dinner-- or whatever I'm doing in my thirties now-- instead of wondering how anyone else feels about it I simply see how I feel about it. Then if I feel like leaving I do. Sounds so simple right? It is, but we get so caught up in offending other people we forget that we’re offending ourselves.

“What if I hurt their feelings? — What if you miss you destiny?” --Joel Osteen

I have certainly been guilty of people pleasing. I really care about how other people are feeling. I spent ten years thinking about become a therapist, even going to school for it briefly, because I just wanted to help others feel better. But, I wasn’t focusing on my feelings and asking myself what I needed to feel better. Knowing your power is about giving yourself the power to do you, to be happy, to make choices for your benefit and not always for someone or something else every time.

This is not an article to make you stop thinking of other people’s needs. Not at all. It’s more to help remind you that you have needs too.

So, know you power. The next time you’re somewhere you want to leave, just leave. The next time someone asks you out and you really aren’t interested just say, no thank you. You don’t have to give a reason or go out with them. The next time you catch yourself wondering if you’re going to offend someone else by saying no ask yourself, what do you really want? Keep checking in with yourself through out the day. Because once you become aware of your needs instead of always putting them last you’ll see how important it is to make yourself number one. And, that my dear is what power really is.

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