To empower means to give authority or power to someone or something. Being empowered is about giving yourself the power and authority of yourself. One of the things we learn to recognize in recovery is all the people, places, and things we give our power away to. As if we don’t deserve or own empowerment, we willingly and sometimes voluntarily hand out our personal power to others, like cotton candy at a fair. We give our personal power away by letting an outside entity dictate what we think, what we feel, or how we act. By doing so, we cease honoring our inherent, internal wisdom. Instead of feeling empowered by our own knowledge, we empower the knowledge being imparted by someone else. Feeling authentically empowered by our own thoughts marks a definitive difference in creating meaning. When we give away our power, we allow someone else to make meaning for us. Staying empowered creates meaning for ourselves.
Building up a strong sense of self takes time. Forgiving, healing, embracing, accepting- these are all powerful and transformative experiences we go through on our journey toward wholeness. As you move through the process, there are small practices you can incorporate into your larger program of recovery to begin empowering your thoughts, even when you do not feel especially empowered.
Notice Your Thoughts
Without judgment, critique, or a goal, take notice of your thoughts. Thought can be productive or unproductive. Often, we do not take the time to observe our thoughts and see what they are up to. Mostly this is because we don’t feel in control of our thinking. Once we start becoming aware of what our thoughts are and how they are affecting us we can begin contemplating on their purpose. Are these thoughts serving a greater purpose? If they are limiting or self-defeating, we can begin to lovingly detach and let them go.
Get Right Sized
Empowerment and ego don’t go hand in hand. Empowerment is more about humility than it is about being high and mighty by our own appointment. Continuing on our awareness and our noticing, we look at our ego. What part of our thoughts are swirling around the idea of “me”?
Think Happy Thoughts
Depending on your discipline of meditative practice, you may choose to focus on a positive mantra, or put effort into emptying your mind entirely. Having fully noticed what are thoughts are and how they are operating, we can put in the work to start shifting them. We are, after all, empowered to do so.
Choosing to recover from the attachment to addiction is intimidating, but incredibly empowering. At Refuge Recovery, we encourage you to explore your capabilities as we teach you the personal and life skills you need to feel empowered. We treat all forms of substance abuse, trauma, and more. Call us today for additional information 323-207-0276