Here’s a directive: when things go wrong in a romance or a friendship, do not immediately take the problems as information about yourself. We do that – us human beings. We assume that we are the problem. Even whilst holding on to outrage and umbrage some part of us feels that light has been shed on our rotten core. You know, like when babies don’t immediately take to you and they glare at you and you feel as though they can see into your diseased soul. Yes, clearly we must recognise the part we played in the fight, the break-up. Unless we are maniacal monsters. But we could think it through rather than white-knuckle it through. Thoughts are not feelings.
Here’s a tip: Ring-fence your self-esteem. Safeguard your sense of self-worth. Cultivate it, nurture it and separate it. Allow to exist independently. Make it untouchable. Look the hell after it. Because then, when your heart is broken and your feelings are pulverised, you will still be safe. You will still be held. The you in you will survive.
This, by the way, is what they mean by ‘Hold on to your power’. It means, don’t do things to get a reaction out of other people – that is giving your power away. It means, don’t take someone else’s behaviour as an indication of your value – that is giving your power away. And remember that some people specialise in disempowerment – women as much as men. The ones who make you feel as though you are protesting too much. The ones who back you into a corner. The ones who mean to tip you off balance. So, hold on to your power. It is an annoying phrase. With a useful message.