Empowerment

 

We are empowered whenever we make contact with our own resources and abilities – and become aware of the positive options we have. Like a powerful tiger, poised to leap in any direction, we access a flexibility that lets us move beyond the seeming limits of any situation.

This card encourages you to make empowerment a theme in how you interact with others. It asks you to reflect on how to go about empowering yourself to choose options that will bring fulfillment alive in your relationship.

Are there areas where you feel blocked from experiencing total fulfillment with your partner? All of us at times may feel such blocks in our relationships. We may spend much effort trying to figure out what the “problem” is – and who is “at fault.” But these are very disempowering questions. A more empowering question to ask yourself at such times is, “What options can I explore for moving in a positive direction with my partner – and in my life?”

The first step to moving in a positive direction is to clarify where you want to go. Rather than staying focused on what’s wrong with a situation or what you don’t want, begin to focus on what you do want. As it gets ready to leap, a tiger focuses on where it wants to land. Similarly, if you want to move in a positive direction with a partner, focus your attention on how the relationship would be if it already were the way you want. Visualize how each of you would be different – how each of you would act, feel, and communicate.

As you clarify what you want, the next question is, what will empower you to move in that direction? Identify actions that empower positive movement – and notice what you may be doing that disempowers such movement!

Out of habit, we may express the ways we are frustrated, irritated, or dissatisfied, wanting our partner to respond to our complaints. But being critical of someone, trying to improve or change them, or making them wrong for who they are, is disempowering. Such judgments give a partner reasons not to change, and lead to a downward spiral of upset, self-defense, and counterblame.

On the other hand, we may silently harbor resentments, waiting for a partner to read our mind about what we need or want. Of course, they never do – and then more resentments and blame build up.

It is far more empowering to simply ask for what you want – in a clear, direct, and positive way. Show patience and respect for your partner, empowering them to respond to you in a positive way. Accept your partner for who they are, and remember that they’re doing the best they can.

You empower yourself when you seek to be constructive in expressing your wants, when you learn to speak and act in a way that enables your partner to hear you – and respond to you. One way to learn this is to ask your partner how they would like to be addressed. The most powerful thing you can do is change how you express yourself – rather than try to change your partner. This is the flexibility of the tiger. It’s the true source of your power to leap beyond the seeming limits of a situation and move in the positive direction you want.

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