Truly Powerful People (300)

Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

I used to be particularly gifted at catching other people’s anger. I’d say to myself, ‘I caught the bullet on that one.” I was not (well, not often) the genesis of the anger but I certainly knew how to stand up at the perfect moment to catch the bullet. Had I lived as a saloonkeeper in Dodge City, I would not have lived long.

I caught bullets because I thought it was mine to do. I was the middle child, the peacekeeper in the family. Stepping in front of warring parties came with the job description. It was the job description. And then, one day deep into adulthood, I asked a really good question: “What am I doing?” The bullets were not aimed at me, they were not meant for me, why was I taking them? Here’s a secret: bullets fill you with a false sense of worth. When I asked myself, “What am I doing?” I was also saying to myself, “You are worth more than this.” People stopped shooting when I stopped accepting bullets. Like all forms of enabling, bullet-taking is a bargain (I’ll take your bullet if you give me a sense of worth); the bargain diminishes the shooter and the bullet-taker.

Questions of worth are really questions of Ownership in disguise. No one can give you your worth. You can push it away, you can look for it in the eyes of others but at the end of the day, you are the one who knows if your work is good, if you are following your bliss, if you are doing your best, if you are bringing you game to the world. You are the one who knows. It is your standard that needs meeting. Own it. Meet it. Worth will become a non-issue.

I understand ownership (and worth) as a dynamic energy flow: practice owning your energy, practice not owning anyone elses energy. Own what is yours; refuse to own what is not yours. Ownership begins with boundaries and grows strong when you stop making assumptions about what would be best for others. I’ve learned that people will still shoot bullets but we choose whether to catch them, duck them, or let them pass through.

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