Last week three of my clients, without any connection to each other, expressed almost comical animated delight at the discovery that they really could take charge of their emotions! In each one of them it triggered a strong sense of personal empowerment, making them feel uplifted by the realization that no-one else can make you feel anything without your permission; that even though life-circumstances can often be out of your control, how you respond and behave is completely within your power. (Being privileged to witness such moments in people’s lives makes me truly in-love with my job!)
Elaborating on the point, the late great family therapist Virginia Satir wrote a classic piece that describes our capacity for personal power inspirationally. Here it is - enjoy!
I am me
In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me
Everything that comes out of me is authentically me - because I alone chose it
I own everything about me, my body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions, whether they be to others or to myself.
I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears – I own all my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes.
Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me – by so doing I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts.
I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know – but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and for ways to find out more about me.
However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me.
If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought and felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded.
I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me.
I own me, and therefore I can engineer me – I am me and I AM OKAY