“Because silence is not only dangerous, it is corrosive. When we refuse to name our obstacles, we can never find a way around them. Worse, we accept their inevitability, believing we deserve what we get…as outsiders we are expected to continue on as the system commands primarily to preserve our ability to participate and just maybe one day win the lottery of opportunity to be the one who slips inside the door.” Stacey Abrams, Lead from the Outside
Stacey talks about obstacles and being able to identify them before we can have any chance at knocking them down. There are of course, many obstacles to our power. And we’ll be talking about a lot of them throughout this podcast. But today, I want to talk about three of them.
The first is the “outsider” obstacle.
That is this idea that we don’t really belong, we don’t fit in. And if we are ever to make it to the inner circle, then we have to earn our way. That’s not to say that there’s not some validity in having earned the right to speak. But a lot of us have put in our time we have done our work, we have cultivated a landscape through which power can come, we are no longer still needing to earn it or prove it, or wait our turn, it is our turn.
Another obstacle to our claim to power is the concept of karma.
Karma is sometimes seen as a get what you deserve sort of payback idea. In the spiritual communities, it’s more of an idea of a circle of everything coming to fruition of what we plant, eventually taking fruit. Karma in spiritual teachings is just as much about gaining access to positive things as it is about having to pay for negative things. But this same belief that can give us a sense of freedom in the beginning, can also be a belief that leads us into the trap of complacency.
The third obstacle to claiming our own power is a belief in our smallness.
A belief in our effectiveness as one person and one voice. This belief is also wrapped in hopelessness, despair, and a lack of faith in the world. If I can’t do everything, then I cannot do anything, is the mantra of the person who has subscribed to the idea of smallness.
But sometimes this idea of smallness is exactly what we need to empower us.