Don’t give away your power

“You have the power to heal your life, and you need to know that. We think so often that we are helpless, but we’re not. We always have the power of our minds…Claim and consciously use your power.” Louise Hay

It took some time before I understood what my grandmother meant by “never let them drive you crazy.” For a long time, I thought she was reminding me of my late father’s mental illness and that I should be vigilant of my own mental health. However, I soon realized what she meant was to stay authentic to your core beliefs. Don’t let them make you lose control and make unwise decisions. That would be giving your power away.

I have always been an active daydreamer. I could get lost in my head or in a good book for hours. One of my heroes was Harriet Tubman. I imagined myself walking through the woods and streams, freeing the slaves, and bringing them to the promised land. I always thought that Harriet had magical powers. I read books about Kings and Queens of Africa and saw myself as the African Queen leading my people to victory against invading forces. I was powerful and in control, and I never lost a battle.

I began to think that as I went through high school and college that there was some magical force helping me navigate the rough waters. Getting through medical school for me was the greatest gift. I never gave up my power.

Right now, COVID-19 is wielding its mighty sword through our community, and I am getting texts from friends of loved ones lost. I feel powerless, so I want to put on my regal garb and fight and get fighting. I want to be Harriet Tubman leading my people to good health and keep them safe. I want to be that African Queen wielding my sword against this invader. If only I could. I know it is not that easy.

Some real true and hard facts. If you are obese or have hypertension, diabetes, or sleep apnea, you are at risk of dying from this disease. We need to regain control. If your Blood pressure is not controlled, you need to get it under control. No excuses. Most African Americans should be on at least two medicines if not three to four to control high blood pressure. If you are obese, let’s get kicking. No, I mean kicking up your legs by marching in place 10 minutes twice a day. It works and you don’t need to go outside. Exercise can reduce your blood pressure and blood sugar. You can use this time to gain control and get your power back. It won’t be easy but you have to start somewhere.   If you need a new doctor, practices are offering virtual visits. Get one now.

We have a democratic government that we elect. We pay taxes and are entitled to be helped by that same government. We should not have to beg our elected officials for the basic needs. So, as I watched my colleagues in tears and asking for the materials they needed to care for sick patients, I realized that we have the power to make changes. It only takes one simple act. We have the power of being a team. That means working together. One way is voting. If our elected senators, representatives, and our president put us in the position of begging for what we have paid taxes to support, then we must regain our power and use the power of our ballot.

Governors who refused to authorize shelter in place orders are not protecting us; they’re protecting their interest. Ministers who entice their members to go to church despite the known fact that this puts them at risk for COVID-19 are not true men of God. My grandmother always pointed to that fact. She was critical of the ministers who she felt were in it for the money.

We have the right to speak up. We need to demand protection, adequately equipped hospitals, and to be respected by those we elect. Remember, we elect them not to serve their interest or that of a party or a president but the people from the states that they represent.

Let’s regain our Power.

Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control; these three alone lead life to sovereign power.  Alfred Lord Tennyson

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