The Surprising Connection Between Love, Power and Serenity
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Last year was a trying for all of us. It reminds me of Gandhi’s words: What does it mean to lose myself in the service of others? When March came and the shut-down began, I noticed I was losing myself in the service of others. I started to wonder why. Was I giving out of my ego wanting to have control over the unexpected and unknown? That’s the influence of Power. Was I was genuinely caring and loving others in their time of need? That’s the influence of Love. Or was I simply wanting to give because I had a lot to offer? That’s the influence of Serenity. I believe I served because of all these things.
The 3 Primary Forces of Life
The three primary forces of life – Love, Power and Serenity played a major role in my decision. We all have these three life forces, and each one connects to the other. They are also balanced by our primary faults – Pride, Self-will and Fear. I saw Pride show up in our society with a lot of political and racial division. For some of us it shows up in our accusatory statements about one group or another, or a judgment of how someone is living in opposition to how we think they should.
The Impact of Our Faults: Pride, Self-Will and Fear
My faults usually show up with judgments about others. How about you? Self-will may come up with the idea that no one is going to tell me what to do, and I am going do things my own way. My faults also come up as I tried to grab a little bit of control where I felt I was lacking it. Grasping for control is certainly understandable in light of how much of it we lost this past year. And, there is always fear; fear of the unknown. Regardless, whichever fault has been showing up for you, the balancing essence (and solution) is always there inside you: Love, Power and Serenity.
This became very clear to me as a result of my own reaction to the shut-down:
- Using my Power(passion) and extra time to complete projects including my book about a unique journey to authenticity.
- Creating more Love by deepening my learning about compassion. I also shifted to having a greater sense of compassion for those impacted by the pandemic.
- Serenity showed up through mindfulness of my reactions to all the chaos and spending time in meditation and reflection with great curiosity continuing to ask: What is mine to do?
In my new book, The Curious Voyage: A Rule-breaking Guidebook to Authenticity, there is an exercise to help us move from Pride, Self-will and Fear to Love, Power and Serenity: Try it and let me know what your experience is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love, Power, Serenity Exercise: Releasing Cape
These inquiry questions can help you explore other situations and shift the energy. They will expand on the self-will pride and fear exercise done in Chapter 3.
- First, state the situation, for example, thinking about what was wrong with the way a loved one is running their life.
- Next, what is your intention in order to create the best outcome in the situation? Perhaps, like me, you may wish to keep the love and connection open between the two of you.
- What belief/rule from your rulebook could you shift to help you align yourself better with your intention? In my situation, I had a belief/rule in the power of judging others and thinking I know what is best for the other person.
- Write down what your belief might be, and notice:
- Where is my willful, demand that I be right, I be heard, I be seen and/or I be understood in this situation? How is it blocking me from having my intention materialize? In my situation, I noticed I was being irritable, short-tempered, impatient and closed off.
- In what way may I be trying to force the other person to do things or see things my way? I would get overly active in giving my opinion.
- How may I be withholding or withdrawing from the other? Acts of withholding or withdrawing often indicate there is some kind of power struggle going on in the situation. If so, see what your part is and what you could surrender to create a positive shift. I get to surrender into trust. Not just for my partner, but to the larger idea that whatever happens to us as a couple is what is meant to be.
This is where serenity comes in, and a great tool to use for surrendering is the opening of the Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. (I can’t control another person’s behavior. Feel free to replace the word ‘God’ with one that is more comfortable for you if you prefer.)
The courage to change the things I can. (I stopped myself, became observant and chose to shift my thoughts and actions.)
And the wisdom to know the difference. (I can’t control the outcome by trying to get someone to be different.)
- Visualization: Imagine you are at the edge of a lake. You are wearing three fine capes. They are the cape of self-will, pride and fear.
- Cape of self-will: It is sewn with all the ways you are forcing something in the situation so your way can win.
- Cape of pride: This cape is designed with all the ways you are right, and you are better or worse than the other.
- Cape of fear: This cape is filled with all the statements that make you think you can’t let go of your position. It knows all the ways the other is wrong and you are right. It is filled with beliefs about how you are better or worse and has you convinced this is the way it is and if you shift in any direction something bad will happen. You can’t let go. Yet you long for your intention to set you free.
Freeing yourself into the lake of the unknown: As you imagine yourself standing there wearing these capes and looking into the water think of what you desire and long for. What is your intention? What do you imagine is possible for you? And, when you are ready, take off the capes one at a time and dive into the lake of the unknown and let your intuition and imagination show you the way.