Many years ago, I fell in love with the products of a cosmetic and skin care company and I have been a dedicated and satisfied consumer since. Their original, brightly colored, sassy named, girly packaging so resonated with me that before I knew it, bursting shopping basket in hand, I was mindlessly propelled to the smooth-skinned and brightly lipped cashier. Later I happily discovered that what was inside the packaging was equally awesome…especially my favorite, the mascara, and that has kept me a happy and returning customer all these years.  

Recently I became aware that this skin care company has made the decision to make significant financial contributions to Planned Parenthood. Let me be clear, I applaud and admire companies who choose to support and donate funds to worthy causes and I honor their right and choice to do so. But I also choose to honor my own personal values and beliefs and find that I cannot, with consciousness, choose to continue to purchase items from a company who funds an organization that wholly conflicts with my own personal values and beliefs. I share this experience with you because it prompted thoughts and ponderings about empowerment.

The word “empower” gets hurled about and misused in our current culture, being flaunted like a flag of triumph over a defeated enemy. Persuasive efforts are targeted at convincing us that we can take it, or be handed it, like some commodity waiting on the shelf. But I believe that we will never experience the truth of empowerment if this comes at the cost of harming another; whether sought through the emasculation, condemnation, or criminalization of men; objectification, mistreatment, or desertion of women; exploitation, abandonment, or abuse of children; termination of the life of an innocent, unborn child; neglecting the vulnerable; or causing harm to defenseless pets and animals.

It is easy to get caught up in the surge and for a time you might experience what you believe to be power, but when held in truth and light, it is counterfeit and not sustaining. It is incomplete and insatiable; constantly demanding and consuming. The result is conflict, counterforce and polarization and requires constant justifying and defending.

To truly become empowered requires each of us to recognize that it can only be found and nourished within ourselves. It cannot be taken, demanded or given. Empowerment is characterized by principles that unify, uplift, dignify, and ennoble while recognizing and supporting the significance of life itself.  To be empowered inspires, energizes, contributes, supports and honors self and all of human kind.

David R. Hawkins teaches, “Every act or decision we make that supports life, supports all life, including our own”. Eventually, we will all have to take accountability for all the choices, thoughts, and words that we have generated while here in this earthly experience. Empowerment creates the momentum to move forward in nobility of life’s purpose, sustaining our earthly mission, and preparing us for the next life to come.

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