As I’ve followed the U.S. presidential election from the time Donald Trump announced he would be running for president, up until he accepted the nomination as the candidate for the Republican Party, all he has invoked in me is hate and fear.
Full disclosure: he has brought out the worst side in me.
His words have made me furious, they’ve made me want to attack people who support him and who lash out on his behalf. It hasn’t been pretty.
My ego rages when I hear him speak or when I read something about him. I’d like people to understand how wrong I think they are for choosing to support him.
I feel the need to control their choices, to make them realize that they should not put their faith in Donald Trump.
He brings out the need to exert power over others, and that side of anyone is just plain ugly.
Last night as I sat with my mom and watched history write itself before our eyes as Hillary Clinton accepted the nomination from the Democratic Party to run for president of the United States, something was ignited in me. At first, I thought it was just excitement.
“I’m going to remember this moment for the rest of my life,” I thought. “A woman is finally going to become president.”
How cool is this, right? I mean for the last 240 years only men have been able to leave their legacy on the United States—the world, for that matter, as the Commander in Chief of this extraordinary nation. And now, a woman is finally going to have a fighting chance to do just that.
About damn time.
As she wrapped up her speech and the patriotically colored balloons started to fall from the ceiling, I realized what I was feeling: power from within. Hillary’s words had re-awakened the feeling that I possess a great amount of power. Not power over others though.
There’s a very distinct difference between the two:
Power from within is fueled by humility, compassion and personal empowerment whereas power over others is fueled by ego, greed and the need to control others, among other things.
From Hillary’s history of hard work in politics since she was 17 years old—fighting for the wants, needs and rights of all Americans and the speech she delivered standing at that podium, she glowed with personal power from within.
Power from within thrives on the idea that we alone possess the ability to control our thoughts, our words and our actions—it feels like inspiration, like freedom, like contentment. Power over others thrives on acknowledging and making choices based on separateness and ultimately discrimination and if you’re paying close enough attention, it feels downright nasty.
If we embrace power over others, we get tricked into thinking that we are better than someone else, that we have the power to control, or at least attempt to control aspects of another human being’s life. But all of that is an illusion. We cannot and should never be able to control anyone but ourselves, and the sooner we all realize this, the better off our country and our world will be.
I’m not here to persuade you to vote for one candidate or the other.
I’m not here to tell you you’re right or wrong for what or who you believe in. I’m here to get you out of your head and a little bit more into your heart, however cheesy that may sound.
I want to encourage you to think.
How does each candidate make you feel? Do they make you realize that you have power from within, that you can make a difference and that you can create change? Or do they make you want to separate yourself from others and to exercise power over someone you see as lesser than yourself or who you don’t agree with?
As you follow the election over the next few months, listen to what others are saying and observe how it all makes you feel—what it invokes in you. Do the research, watch and read news from all sorts of sources. Make sure you know the facts, not the story someone is trying to sell you.
When it comes time to cast your vote, do so thoughtfully and with a strong intention and don’t ever forget or take for granted, the vast power you hold within as one.
Author: Jenna Dailey
Image: Flickr/Mobilus in Mobili
Apprentice Editor: Thayne Ulschmid; Editor: Travis May