I remember the aroma of tears filling my office, as a brave young man now in his thirties spoke of his dilemma as a youth at the hands of a brutal and violent father who, by the end of the counselling sessions we understood was also a victim of a brutal and violent father.
These stories are not uncommon sadly and yet this was not a story about a victim, this was a story about a man who had overcome, who had forgiven, who had rectified the past and most importantly had realised his own power in circumstances that seemed to take it all away.
What can you do? What is in your control and how can you overcome what has been done, but more importantly what will the future look like for you?
These three questions are essential for change at a personal level and the first is the most important, because until you realise the power in your hands and what you do have control of, there is no change or moving forward.
In life when we realise what we have control over and the power we were able to exert in trying times, it allows us to see a way out because we open our eyes to what you can as opposed to what you can’t.
It allows us to see possibilities, it allows us to see potential, it allows us to construct new stories and new ways of being, because we have a God-given creative force inside us that stems from that eternal garden and the divine command to go forth and to subdue.
This is so powerful, and it is such a powerful force for change when we finally confront those experiences and messages inside us that say we can’t, and finally realise at the bottom of our darkest fears, be it as individuals, as families or even as countries we can find hope, resilience and the power for change if we are prepared to look inside ourselves and then look up for where our help and strength comes.
I am utterly convinced of it because for me it has always been a measure of whether time spent with someone has been effective, when the tears flow, when change happens internally and when they realise inside, at such a deep level their strength, their hope, their creativity, yes their brokeness and the things they couldn’t control, but amongst those broken pieces the power for change.
Real, deep, tangible, I’m going to take on the world change.
But too often they have looked outside for change, outside for things to medicate their pain, and outside for others to tell them what was right or wrong and how to live their lives giving over the one thing they had at their disposal to make the change they needed - their power.
How you lead your life is how it will be. You are the captain of your own ship, the master of your life and not even God can override that piece of Him that resides in us all - the power of will and to choose.
It is sacred, because it is the centre of who you and I are and it is the driving seat of all we see, what we think, how we feel, how we feel about others and most importatntly how we feel about ourselves.
This is true for countries also, those in control, determine what we do , how we engage with the rest of the world and whether we are victims of our circumstances, or in the driver’s seat directing our country to where it needs to go to prosper and to get through difficult times.
It is an uneviable task to lead oneself, let alone lead a family or to wake up and know you are responsible for leading a country.
And like that young man sitting in the chair across from me, as a country, the more we realise the power we have in our own hands, the more we see our strengths, the more we see our capabilities and the more we understand what is available to us, the less dependant we may be on others for change and the more we can have hope, as we self determine what lies ahead.