Telling Strength from Power
A useful image occurred to me. Strength is what we use when we break free of a rut. Power runs us harder along the same old trail, bouncing through the ruts until we destroy ourselves.
Strength is a capacity. Power is an external source of energy.
Power seduces. It gets "results." It's just that they tend not to really achieve our aims, let alone what might be a best outcome.
Remember, an aim is a guess. The more power we out behind that guess the more likely it will backfire. The more we rely on power the harder it gets to be a better guesser.
Strength is what we call on to dig into the reality we confront and find what can be done. What we can do as we remain responsive to our best contact with our situation.
Its work is primarily to suspend our reliance on projections and keep our attention clear. To avoid the traps of stereotypical behaviors, conditioned responses.
Mental conditioning can be described as the creation of pathways and loops of thought and habit. These are the neurological equivalent to ruts on a road. The less strength we have to resist this process the deeper they become. The farther they veer away from any actual contact with our situations. Adding power is then just like driving faster on a bad road. The effects of the ruts only getting more and more exaggerated and dangerous.
Strength is what it takes to break free. Physical strength is a component. Emotional and mental strength build on that foundation. Seen in this light, strength is the capacity for proprioception. To be able to see the way our conditioned reactions are making us hurt our selves while hiding their function behind projections.
This can be a simple test. How do we know when we are acting through strength instead of leaning on power?
Quieting the ego and listening to our organism, it knows the difference. Strength flows. It calms. Its actions are not escalating.
Power? We know what that feels like. Fear repressed through an intoxication. A bargain made against our own good faith. We tumble away from equilibrium.
There is always a component of shame, no matter how deeply buried.
Anger and justifications abound.