Enlightening the Passions – Day 4 (Powerlessness)

Powerlessness, limitations, the powers of those and that beyond me… this day was filled with intimate encounters with that very feeling.

But first I need to touch on some considerations that have come up in me regarding this exploration as a whole.
It’s next to impossible to separate feelings, the essential emotions that I’m exploring in this experiment, from basic story lines or concepts. Anger in and as itself really is “just an energy”, to quote a teacher I used to be with for a long, long time, that one cannot say anything about, for instance, if it has purpose, direction or whatever, without the use of concepts. Actually outside of symbols, ideas, language, concepts there is no such feeling as anger; there is actually no feelings and thoughts and bodies and things and energies – there is really not anything and not nothing; and most of all there is no difference, no differentiation and thus no communication except maybe a very general, boundless flowingness – and even saying that is already using concepts.
Anybody wanting to disagree with this can only do so by using the medium of communication and its accompanying concepts (or kiss or smack me, of course) – and she can only disagree because she can follow what I write here using her own concepts and sentences with subjects and objects (and all the other stuff)…

I mention this here because of its role that I saw very clearly saw this morning as I was starting my day (after a good cuddle and sweetness) with opening myself up to my awareness meandering and focusing in on one of the top 7 – 10 feelings. And as you can see from the first lines of this post, I landed with what looks presently to be a very likely candidate for the number 1 on my list of uncomfortable feelings: Powerlessness.
Once this was clear – and it took a few moments before I got an uncanny sense of certainty that, when it appears, clarifies the way for me – I needed to keep invoking it because the tendency to drift away, to dream off, to land in an internal mist that diffuses everything was very strong. So like I have been doing in my morning meanderings in the days before with the other feelings that then I explored, I invoked powerlessness again and again by remembering situations and (self)images from situations in which I felt utterly powerless, moving from the present into the past to uncover the many aspects of this.

The powerless anger I was mentioning yesterday is a most prominent member of this family of feelings, but this feeling has a very important brother (or is it a sister?) in powerless fear and sister (or is it brother?) in powerless grief.
“Today is the day of a family reunion of family Powerlessness,” I thought. And since it was hard to focus, or hard to stay in this company, I used a focusing question, repeating it again and again when I found I had drifted off, “How do I feel when I have no power at all?” When I am at the mercy of whoever happens to be in power, whoever has the upper hand. O, and I know how I feel! By God! Put anger, fear and grief in a pot, stir it well and spice with a sense of guilt and suffocation…

As I was exploring the traces of this feeling, it’s signature – what makes it so strong that I try in so many ways to avoid it – I saw that it is in a way the ‘flip side’ of surrender. To be powerless means “to be forced to surrender” – other than ‘being surrendered’ which just happens and is beyond one’s control to begin with, and happens ‘out of the blue’; being forced to surrender, historically and evolutionary is a man’s nightmare, and in my life something that happened when I was very young and many times after. Not only did I have to surrender what I wanted, but I also had to give up what I sorely needed, loving attention and whatever else a child needs from his parents or the grown ups that are to take care of him, and really don’t.

So what I learnt was suffocating powerlessness, burning powerlessness, sad-sad powerlessness, unreasonable powerlessness, and many other shades of forced surrender – and how to shield myself against actually feeling this, how to create imaginations and imagi-notions that made me feel powerful and influential again, how to manipulate at least my perception in such a way that I did not need to feel powerless. And, you might imagine, there is not much breathing in there!

So then allowing and breathing with powerlessness I felt limits solve, I felt flow happen in deep regions out of sight, I felt a sense of relief touch me deeply. And I think, “Yes, sometimes surrender is forced, or maybe even often, but do I therefor need to struggle, fight and cause a terribly time for me and/or my surround? Do I need an escape? Do I need in some way to do away with this feeling? What for? Does it change thereby? (No, it doesn’t.)”

And all day long little – and in the evening a bigger – matters appeared that kindled that feeling and, as much as was in me, I abided by the family Powerlessness that was called to be with me that moment.
And I wasn’t really amazed at all taht, as the day was almost done, I was confronted with a situation that showed my powerlessness in full bloom, and it was not too hard anymore to just be with it and have no blame for anyone, including me. And for moments I could even embrace it…

Starting up the experiment
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4 (Powerlessness)
Day 5
Day 6 (Jealousy)
Day 7 (Guilt & Jealousy)
Day 8
Day 9 (Shame)
Day 10 (Interlude)
Day 11 (Under Pressure)
Day 12
Day 13 (Clear Delight)

Day 14
Day 15 & 16
Day 17
Day 18
Day 19 (Dark Waves)
Day 20 (Time Out)
Day 21 (Splash)
Day 22 (Understanding)
Day 23 (Fear & Imagination)
Day 24 (Vulnerable)
Day 25
Day 26 (The Presence of The Past)
Ending the Experiment – Day 27 (Intentional Vulnerability)