Stop Giving Your Power Away - Start Owning Up To It


"When you create, you don’t owe anything to anyone."  
Yoann Lemoine, aka Woodkid

The moment I saw this quote it struck a deep chord within me. It made me realize something: my whole life I was giving my power away.

It made me realize when you create, you own it. You have the right to call it your own. And, after a while of trying to place a finger on the emotional response that was evoked in me I thought of one word. One sensation, really. And, that was terror. Pure terror. "When you create, you don't owe anything to anyone." The very fact that you created something makes it your own. My mind is still trying to wrap itself around that.

Because the fact of the matter is, that is a terrifying thought for me. Like, incredibly terrifying. Because this is the hard and fast truth: I'm comfortable owing someone something and being in debt rather than owning my own thing and taking claim on it. Like, I actually find comfort in not taking ownership of anything I create. Mind-boggled face emoticon can be inserted here.

To be clear, just because you're comfortable with something doesn't mean it's right nor does it mean it's a good thing that contributes to your happiness. It's kind of like that soulmate thing. You know. That's what soulmates are for. To literally set your soul ablaze, igniting all the hidden fires, awakening the emotional depths and capacities within you. To unearth the hidden truths of your soul beyond the lies created by society that you put on as your mask and identity. Your soul-mate. And sometimes that process can be very hard. It hurts. Because to be ripped away from your place of comfort, well, I mean, nobody likes that. Not to mention, some say soulmates aren't supposed to stay in your life forever.

But, it's supposed to be such a good thing. You are a new person hopefully more grounded in yourself after such a beautiful and terrifying experience. It's supposed to be one of the best things that happen to you. And speaking from experience, I agree.

So, being comfortable, not always a good thing. And, it can be anything. Some people find their comfort zone in being broke all the time. You're comfortable living in first-world poverty because that's all you've ever known. Or being in an abusive relationship because that's all you've ever grown up with and seen. Whatever it might be. You recognize it. Your mind finds familiarity in it. And with that it's enough for your mind to stay there. Because it likes the comfort of the known. And, no matter how great it is on the other side, the unknown can be a very scary thing. And, so your mind doesn't let you get beyond what you know. And your mind creates your reality. So whatever it attaches to and focuses on and "wants" (because it's comfy) it will manifest. And sometimes the things it manifests aren't the best. At least not when you're trying to grow into something and someone bigger; into a life that's better than the one you had before.

And because I have trouble with ownership it's difficult for me to talk with conviction about myself and my beliefs if I'm not directly helping others. Even though, by now I know I have things to say of value. That my opinions matter. My thoughts matter. And I have a right to own it and be heard. But, it's difficult for me to give myself the credit, to recognize I created it, and just plain freaking own it. Because this is the ultimate debilitating belief: to me, ownership equals responsibility, and, to me, responsibility is a bad thing.  Responsibility equals a broken relationship with the people you love. Stress. Crying. A feeling of complete inadequacy. A feeling that I don't deserve it because I didn't do anything to earn it.

I keep getting distracted in writing this because it's an aspect of me that I'm not comfortable with seeing and dealing with. And my psyche is trying to avoid it at all costs. It's uncomfortable. I have an issue about owning stuff, and owning up to that right.

My issue with it comes from being given such huge responsibilities of helping to run a company at such a young age. And, it was my dad's company. It was a lot to take in as a young girl still barely starting to find herself. My father apparently in the spirit of "raising me right" basically, in my mind, put on my shoulders the responsibility of caring for my entire family. It was a tad bit much. Needless to say, that didn't end so well. So, yeah. Responsibility still kind of scares me to this day.

This is a major issue. Because it manifests in ways that doesn't align with my desires out of life. I now realize I love to write. But, I never started until three different people right around the same time told me I should start a blog to share what I had to say because they told me it helped them, and that they were sure more people would find it interesting, too. And, I'm really grateful that that happened. But, it's also a major red flag. Because in that all-too-real scenario all my license and power to do anything are in the hands of others. And, although I'm fortunate that these people are those who genuinely care about and want the best for me, that power should be coming from me. When I don't claim ownership over my power to create due to my fear of responsibility, I, then, give that responsibility to someone else. As an artist, that is profoundly detrimental.  It's another external figure I'm allowing to guide the direction of my life instead of me taking life by the horns and steering it myself. My validation to begin anything is not from myself which creates a dependency on others and that's incredibly unhealthy. 

This, then, applies to the most important passion in my life: acting. As much as I'd like to deny it, acting is creating. You create the characters out of the context of the script, and you literally breathe out the words. When I act I create and speak for a soul that's brought to life from off of the page. But if I'm not able to take ownership of that,  it's going to be difficult for anyone to put their trust in me with any capacity of a project. And, that's a huge no-no. For me not to be able to act? That is a life or death kind of issue. I have to act. It's who I am. This is classic "don't get in your own way" type of stuff, and right now I'm getting in my own way. And, so I change it.

But, as with any growth or change, it's a process, and there are steps. And it may take time. And it takes only as fast as you allow your mind to let go of the current beliefs set in begrudging negative brain sludge to make room for new ones. So, I let it be what it is. A process. I've already:

  1. Recognized my comfort in forfeiting responsibility and ownership of my own creations.
  2. I've also recognized this as a problem in achieving my goals.

If I were to break down my next steps, they might be:

  1. Recognizing that responsibility does not equal broken relationships, nor does it equal broken trust or heartache. That that was an unfortunate product of consequence of the circumstances (which is me being way too young and my father unknowingly depending way too much on me )
  2. Letting go of the fear of responsibility, however long that takes.
  3. Being patient with myself. (I think this is really important.)
  4. Letting myself take on little responsibilities here and there. Taking mental ownership of my thoughts and creations such as my blog

Creating steps like these can really help. And, after the crazy feeling of terror I first felt, I feel a new sensation. Relief. Relief that I was able to discover more about the human condition, and so therefore about myself. 

Like I love to say, awareness is half the battle. And, I'm going to give myself credit for that and be happy and proud that I got here, and let myself take it one step at a time.

Source: The Talks