Picture yourself at a get-together among friends. At this particular function, each person shares what’s on his or her heart. The sharing time gets really vulnerable, but it’s what everyone needs. After sharing, you sit around the fire talking about the good ol’ days when you were a teenager or young adult, having fun, making memories, and in so doing, making some bad decisions. But, they were the good old days.
After fireside time, one of your friends, who’s a performing artist, decides to play some heartfelt music. After the music, you guys decide to go back to eating more food, which happens to be wonderfully spread out on the tables up on the deck. Then there is more music, more fireside chat, and more vulnerability. One of your friends, who’s a photographer, has to grab a few photos that best capture these moments. After a while, everyone decides to go home. The night was perfect.
On the following day, a reporter from a local newspaper wants to write an article on the benefits and blessings of community. In order to write this article, the reporter feels that he needs each of the friends who were in attendance at the function to talk about what went on that night.
By the time all the interviews are over, the reporter wonders if everyone attended the same party. The answer was “Yes”. Each person gave their own account of what happened that night based upon his/her own perspective. Our perspective is made up of our experiences in life, good or bad, our trials and traumas, failures and successes, and our level of resilience.
The performing artist would come at it from a music angle, and blending in more of his experiences to describe that night. The fire starter would come at it from the angle of being an outdoorsman. The ones who cooked the food may focus on the culinary aspect of the night. If there are therapists or coaches in the group, they will focus on the vulnerability and conversations of the night. The photographer would tell their story based on what he/she sees through the lens of the camera.
No matter what each individual’s focus entails, the end result is the same: the reporter was able to assess what went on that night, feeling empowered to write a state-of-the-art article on community. And guess what, he has pictures to back up those moments.
The definition of empowerment is: the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights. In order for empowerment to be successful, there has to be several things involved/attained: information, perspective, autonomy, application, and self-awareness.
Empowerment is hindered when we have experiences, traumas, knowledge, and tons of information that is never applied to anything. We all want an empowered new chapter of life. The problem is that we don’t understand that there is an unconscious disconnect between the knowing and doing (life application).
Perspective cannot be left out. The reporter had to gain knowledge of each person’s perspective, applying knowledge, experience, and information that he already had in order to create a picture of his own perspective when writing the article. Creating a satisfying future hinges upon healing from past hurts. That’s because healing brings perspective and resilience.
It’s easy for us to resist the healing part. However, the knowledge of how everything goes hand in hand gives us the courage to move forward in our new chapter of life.
Until next time,