But these days, power gives me pause. As a woman, I've often lacked a sense of my own power, and consequently I've been drawn to the power of others. My own power, residing deep within me, has come across as a source of danger and sin, so I've ignored it, even denied it. I've let others take the lead; I've followed, allowing my power to trail behind, unattended.
But imagine with me for a moment that power isn't a dirty word. Imagine a woman like me letting go of her attachment to the power of others and taking up her own power instead. Does my power render me dangerous? Does my power strip me of holiness?
Maybe my power exerts itself whether I acknowledge it or not. So what happens if I look deep within myself and intentionally draw my power out?
The trouble is, if I harness my own power, I place myself at the center of my actions, rather than at the margins. If I follow someone else, I can always redirect attention to her or him if something goes wrong. I can't blame others for how I use my own power, however; I alone am responsible for it. Acknowledging one's own power, using one's power, means accepting the consequences of one's power. If power corrupts, why would I ever want to accept my power and its consequences?
I can pretend it's not there, hope it does nothing, and take no responsibility for it if it does. Alternatively, I can claim it, learn to use it as I see fit, and take responsibility for it when I do wrong--and right.
I get the sense that the good and holy way to approach power isn't what I've always thought. Maybe my power is a source of goodness, rather than evil. Maybe it is a good and holy thing to take up the power that Goddess places deep within me; maybe the sin is in squelching it.
Do I dare take up my own power?