In the days before we said goodbye to 2020, I woke up like I sometimes do, aware of new meaning peeking out from what I’d been taking at face value.
It felt appropriate, because waking us up to a renewed, deeper appreciation to all we’d been taking for granted was what 2020 came to do, with all its all its might.
And there is was. The word might, with its dual competing roles.
I was fascinated when I realized that this mighty word holds power as either a show of decisive, strong force or as the unfurling of potential barely born, promising an outcome we cultivate instead of dictate.
These paradoxical meanings make me wonder: Are we willing to embrace a might that enables the power of potential to hold our insecurities and soothe our fears of uncertainty so that we no longer limit ourselves to being right?
The price of right over might has been too depleting. It’s exerted an autocratic, automatic kind of might; the kind that bristles at questions and enlists consensus to silence collective contemplation, even initial conversation. This righteous might is the kind that values certitude over kindness.
Maybe most tragically, righting requires wronging and we have all lobbed and been struck by wrongs; in a swirling mobius strip, looping while disconnecting us from all that might be.
But the might of certainty dominates a distorted reality. It trains so many to either accept or ignore it; either way, we bow, like a sapling in a hurricane, whose survival is in its yielding.
The might of potential draws from the myriad contributions of the many. Those bowing saplings grow by drawing from experiences, insights and solutions more powerful because of their disparate yet interconnected roots.
Even writing this, I struggle to belief that might fueled by potential can accomplish anything and I challenge my own thinking, because it’s tainted from living in the illusion that certainty is mighty — or is the only might. I think the truth is that we don’t need to choose between them.
A mighty integration of these meanings reconnects potentiality and decisiveness, and helps dispel the false comfort of certainty for the stopped-down aperture it is.
This may whip up ideas of social change; you know, big wave, top-level ideas kind of stuff. But it works on a personal intimate level too, which is actually where it all begins. Here are some questions you might find helpful in the excavation of your own might:
- Do you silence any whispers within because you fear the unknown? Might you be willing to listen now?
- Is your personal might nurtured or neglected in your exterior life: relationships, career, surroundings? Might you find a way to light up at least one a part of your life?
- Have you felt anxious or angry when your expectations weren’t met? Might you be open to new outcomes you don’t control?
- Are there people in your circle whose beliefs differ from yours? Might you try to listen to what drives their positions with an open mind and compassionate heart?
- Have you been inspired by social change but unsure how to get involved? Might you try contributing your might to a local organization this year?
As we embark into a new year that arrives with a new age and invites a new us, is it possible to weave these together? Let’s invite our MIGHT to power our personal evolution and collective innovation as an amalgam of considered potential and compassionate decisiveness.