Love Letters to Humans (no. 88) — on Power and Consequences

When you feel uncomfortable, you have power. When you feel afraid, you have power. When you feel hurt, you have power. When you feel powerless, you. still. have. power.

Your power isn’t a feeling… it’s a fact.

We all have a relationship with power. Every decision we make (or pretend we aren’t making) is an exercise in power.

Also, every decision has consequences.

That’s the rub, isn’t it? Using our power (i.e. making decisions) has consequences… and we like to pretend we can avoid them, as though feigning powerlessness will magically banish consequences. Spoiler: it won’t.

We tell ourselves we *can’t* speak the truth because we might be labeled as “difficult,” or someone’s feelings might get hurt, or we might cause conflict or tension, or we might lose income or privilege. Instead of navigating the consequences of truth-telling, we navigate the consequences of holding back unspoken truths—compromised integrity, misunderstanding, frustration, erosion of trust, and so on.

We tell ourselves we *can’t* pursue what we want because other people will think and say negative things about us, or we might hurt someone else, or we don’t want the hassle or hustle of maintaining it once we get it… or any number of consequences we would rather avoid responsibility for navigating. Instead, we navigate the consequences of our prolonged dissatisfaction.

Of course we have a strong preference for avoiding unwanted consequences. Of course we do. This preference doesn’t negate consequences… and it doesn’t negate our power.


Where are you confusing avoiding consequences with powerlessness?




Relationship is. Right relationship nourishes.