The Power of Love

I used to think all men were bad. But the truth is, not all of them are. And not all women are good. Some women are bad. And some men are either criminals or criminally insane. I also used to think that no punishable deed should go unpunished. But the truth is, the best revenge is moving on.

This particular epiphany came to me while I was listening to a radio morning show. A woman called in to ‘report’ a case of domestic violence. In tears, she recorded an on air ‘statement’ detailing the horror her husband was putting her through. She had been beaten, bruised, raped, detained and disfigured – over and over again. The talk show host – who is neither a policeman nor a psychologist – advised the lady to leave the home immediately. But she was caught in the grip of the abuse and couldn’t see beyond her circumstances.

The whole thing was disturbing. Too disturbing to label it an ‘all men are bad’ situation. It struck me that abused women have nowhere to turn. If they did, this woman wouldn’t be calling a radio station. She would be calling the cops. Her first port of call ought to have been a police station because she wasn’t dealing with a man – she was dealing with a criminal. A criminal who was also very possibly mentally unstable, criminally so. Instead, she called an entertainer.

My heart went out to her, and similar women everywhere. Women who for one reason or the other have given control over to the men in their lives. Because power cannot be wrested from you, ultimately you have to give it up. You have to surrender before you can be taken over. I’m not blaming victims and survivors of abuse, what I’m saying is that if you find that you have given away your power, take it back, and move on. It’s not easy. It’s possibly the hardest thing any human being will ever do, but it is necessary.

Taking back your power doesn’t necessarily mean that you take up arms against all men and wage a lifelong battle against the opposing sex. Being powerful doesn’t equal being oppressive. Very simply, power is a means to self-determination. Power allows you to choose what you will put up with and what you will not. And the truest power is manifest when after choosing your circumstances, you accept them.

We can’t go on blaming men forever. Yes, some of them do bad things, but the more serious offense is that we let them. Women can be the most miserable offenders, being slapped on one cheek and then wailing pitifully, as they stand there to turn the other. If you must take up arms to feel powerful, turn that ammo on yourself and blast through every last bit of low self esteem and unworthiness. And then stand up and be counted.

As with most things in life, evolving to powerful womanhood is a process. Whether it takes ten minutes or ten years is entirely up to you. At any one point, you can choose to exercise the power within because ladies, you were born with it. It has never left you nor forsaken you, you have just been unaware of it.

I don’t know what happened to the woman on the radio. I suppose I never will. But I do know this. She doesn’t have to be you. You need not end up like her. If I have said this once, I’ve said it a thousand times – in any relationship, make good use of your power to choose. And when you’ve done that, accept your choices and make peace with what comes after. That is the real power of love.