During a cozy chat with my dear friend and muse, Melanie, we both discovered that we have a dislike for the word potential. As we discussed this, I realized that I actually have a disdain for the word and its general use within our society. “Disdain” is a pretty forceful word, so I better explain myself before someone clicks on the delete button. STOP, don’t do it… hang in there with me for just a few more paragraphs. Together we might learn something.
Most of the folks who I admire and my spiritual teachers use the word potential in their teachings. I, too, have used it in my writing and workshops. Funny how until that moment, I hadn’t noticed that I have an internal visceral reaction to hearing it. Had I previously just brushed by the word when I read it, spoke it, or wrote it? Why was I noticing it for the first time on that day? So I did what I do with my deep questions, I took it to my morning quiet contemplation. Here are a few things I discovered for myself and would now like to share with you. Let me know if you come to any new realizations.
I have heard, witnessed, and participated in using the word potential as a weapon or a means to get someone to do something I or others thought was the best thing for them and their life path. Inadvertently and without thought Parents, Teachers, Employers, Coaches, Guides, Community Leaders, Religious Leaders, Mentors, you name it, have used it in this manner. When we use the word potential with the inference that currently you are not enough, but if you do this or that you might earn your worthiness, those entities are using it as a weapon. The most disparaging aspect of this is that we all think we are uplifting or motivating someone to do more, be more, and create more. I now see the word used in this context as the proverbial backhanded compliment. Ugh, dashed again.
I have felt the pang of unworthiness when someone has used the word potential with me in this manner, and then, finding myself slip into the dark side of the moon. As I sat with this and the many thoughts and feelings I have surrounding the word potential, I recalled at least one significant moment in each of my children’s lives where someone questioned or used their potential as a weapon. I didn’t know it to be that when the circumstance happened, but I do now see the long term effects that those moments have had and may continue to have on my now-adult children.
When did the word potential steer off the golden path? Has the word always been a destroyer of self-esteem, or is there a "potential" positive way to see, know, and use the word potential? And finally, could this be linked to self-realization? In my upcoming book, "The Universal Gravity Code - A Guide to Personal and Global Enlightenment," (working title) I use an exercise to help the reader tap into what or who they might be if they were able to see themselves through a different lens. In essence, I may be asking the question, "what is your potential if you did blank." Here is the excerpt from the manuscript:
"Finally, I invite you to ponder the following, really sit with this question for a while; write it down, place it in front of you in various areas of your life (mirror, work desk, refrigerator, car dashboard) ask yourself this question over and over again for the next several days. Then take a moment to write down what you have discovered:
Who would I be if I gave up my deep-seated (seeded) fearful thoughts or if I lost my perceived control?"
What do you think? Am I asking the "potential" question? Does it sound or feel like I am saying, "If you would only drop your fearful thoughts, you would see your potential'? Have I used it as a weapon? I struggled with this for a few days. The last thing I want to do with my words and actions is to add to the gravity of anyone's existence.
Then I realized something; there is Divine Potential or what I refer to as our innate perfection. Enlightenment or self-realization is a return to the remembrance of who our authentic self is. We are Divine Sparks of the All Knowning; we are Divine Potentiality. Ooh, I like the way that sounds … say it with me out loud. I AM DIVINE POTENTIALITY! Now that has some power to it!
The difference here is that there are no benchmarks to indicate what divine perfection looks like because it looks like who you are now through a sacred lens. What is being asked in my question is; if you were able to change your perspective and see yourself as God sees you, would you show up differently in your world? Or better yet, what would you allow yourself to be and do?
I adore words, their use as a vehicle of expression and a tool for expansion. We must be vigilant though with the use of our words and oh so very careful that we do not use them as weapons against humanity. Don Miguel Ruiz reminds us in his book “The Four Agreements” to BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD.
Today in my Divine Potentiality, I see you as a wondrous being, perfect in each and every way. As always, I love you with all of my heart.