“ The book teaches that all women have unique gifts, things we often ignore by listening to criticism, by heeding our own flagging confidence, and by giving up too soon.” –Andra Watkins, Review of P.O.W.ER
Sarah takes after me.
Physically she is the perfect blend of the two of us, but fortunately she seems to have gotten Nathan’s metabolism and will probably surpass me in height.
But emotionally . . . well that’s all me. The good and the bad. The stubborn and the creative. The passionate and the caring.
Sarah sees all. She knows when I am being hard on myself, doubting myself, putting myself down. I try to set a better example, but I often fail. As a result, Sarah is often hard on herself, doubts herself, puts herself down.
This is, perhaps, my biggest failure as a parent. But it is not an ultimate failure because I truly believe, as Andra put it so eloquently in the above quote, that EVERYONE has “unique gifts” which we often hide or suppress even from ourselves. I know that I have them, even though I don’t always admit it. I know that Sarah has many burgeoning gifts, even if she doesn’t see them yet.
I see her gifts in the power of her body when she dances. I hear them in the song of her voice when she laughs and sings. I sense them in her compassion when she expresses fears or concerns about others, and her enthusiasm when she talks about her friends. I touch them when she gives me the gift of a hug. I celebrate them when she sits down to write or draw or create something out of wood, or when she gets excited about something she has learned at school.
Yes, my daughter has power, she just doesn’t know it yet. She hasn’t yet embraced her abilities, but I have confidence she will some day. Just as I have confidence that I am finding my own ability to live life on my own terms, even though I sometimes allow my inner demons to gnaw at my belief. I know that I have the power of words, of compassion, and of empathy. I have a smile that charms, and I make people feel at home. I have a brain and I know how to use it. These are my powers, even when I doubt.
Sometimes, I think, we need someone else to point out our abilities. Sometimes we need to stare at a mirror and find them in ourselves. As I was thinking about this, I realized that I want to help more people (men and women) celebrate their own abilities.
After all, the message of P.O.W.ER is about empowering ourselves and others.
So I have an invitation for you. I would like to invite you to write guest posts about the secret abilities in all of us–the ones we know we have but don’t always admit. Write about yourself, your friend, your daughter, your partner, your son, your neighbor. Celebrate the people and the powers. Celebrate each other. Send your responses to me at email@example.com along with links back to your blog and images, and I will feature you here in a series of posts called “Celebrating Our Unique Powers.” If you don’t have a blog, but would still like to contribute, that works too!
Are you ready to celebrate yourself and others?