I’ve been thinking about power. What does my power look like? How do the people around me use their power? How can I help others build their power? Why do people sell out their power? What is the cost of limiting my power? How far will I take my power?

A lot of my life was spent living powerlessly, letting others make key choices about my life, and determining what my worth was. A lot of my life was spent being angry and feeling isolated, admittedly often self-isolating. We unlock our power when we start telling our stories. Telling our story gives us control over it, empowers others to tell theirs, and builds community. Community is people power. Pain to protest to power, as they say in organizing. 

I am not the person I used to be. I have done intentional investment into myself in the form of therapy and martial arts. I have to include martial arts because going into self-defense, I planned on getting strong and reducing how vulnerable I could feel. I wasn’t prepared for mental breakthroughs via Krav Maga. I cried after class on more than one occasion, impressed with the things I could do and frustrated with the things I couldn’t. Most importantly I had to get to a point in self-defense where my power wasn’t coming from rage. 

Talking about this point in my life, I often reference Zucko’s firebending arch in Avatar the Last Airbender. Zuko has trouble with firebending because he only ever learned to bend from rage. He goes through a spiritual battle that manifests as physical illness. I had to learn how to operate from a place of peace and not rage. I spent a long time surviving, and I am currently finding my peace. I want to thrive. 

I want peace in spite of things that have happened and the things to come. I will live in peace, but that doesn’t mean I will be comfortable. Growth has been extremely uncomfortable, growth is not meant to be comfortable, but I persist. You don’t make change when you are comfortable. You don’t dismantle systems of oppression and white supremacy being comfortable. You don’t create revolutionary thinking by being comfortable. I go on when I can for the people who can’t.

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