Mutual Empowerment


     "When you do not feel as if you can create the life you want, there is tendency to become complacent. You can stop acting on behalf of what will truly make you happy. It is easy to accept ideas about yourself that you are limited, or not worthy enough for life's full blessing. You may slip into addictive self-satisfactions, that have a negative impact on your overall life and well being. You may permit others to mistreat you. Not feeling powerful, it may seem the best you can do is minimize the compromises you have to make, with others and with life, to eke out what happiness you can. Love, when it comes, can seem undeserved and hard to fully receive.

     "In contrast, when you feel empowered--to make happen what you want in life--you feel free. Your choices are made on behalf of your greatest happiness. You are motivated to expand the frontier of this happiness, even beyond what you experienced before. Self-confidence enables you to be more giving in your interactions with others. As you express yourself, others come to know you and feel close more easily. Self-esteem is naturally higher, and your capacity for healthy self-discipline keeps you from self-destructive behavior patterns. Feeling empowered, loving becomes a spontaneously arising feature of life, which draws you deeper into its mysteries, joys, and challenges.

     "How can you empower yourselves, individually and together, in the context of your relationship? Think of empowerment as the result of taking responsibility, developing your potentials, and committing yourselves to what you want. These are choices you always have available to you, whatever your circumstances. Making these choices will almost surely increase your happiness. In your relationship, this happiness is most likely to translate into greater love."
 2000 Mark Shafer  

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