The characteristics of an authentically empowered personality are humbleness, clarity, forgiveness and love. Each time you have the courage to feel the sensations beneath the impulse to shout in anger, withdraw in jealousy, judge or disdain, or need to please, for example, and instead of acting on it, act from the healthiest part of yourself that you can access—even if that means simply remaining motionless or silent with a good intention for the person or people you are with, you create authentic power. The more you create authentic power, the more the characteristics of authentic power become yours, and the more meaning, purpose and joy enter your life.

The one characteristic of authentic power that most people overlook is humbleness. It is important for many reasons. A humble person walks in a friendly world. He or she sees friends everywhere he or she looks, wherever he or she goes, whomever he or she meets. His or her perception goes beyond the shell of appearance and into essence. He or she sees the attributes of people around him or her—big body, small body, strong body, weak body, quick intellect or slow intellect, yellow or brown skin, male or female, young or old, and on and on—as costumes. He or she does not believe that anyone will change this costume at the end of the day, but he or she also knows that everyone will leave it behind at the end of a lifetime. Ashes will return to ashes, and dust will return to dust. Costumes do not last forever. They do not even last a century for most people. The soul is a different story. The soul is immortal.

When a friend walks into the room with a dress or suit that you do not like, do you stop liking your friend? You know about her. You know her challenges, hopes and aspirations. You know how difficult her life is, as is yours, and that it also has experiences of elation, joy and contentment, or at least you know how much she wants to have these experiences. You cannot feel superior to her because you know how much your life is like hers. The humble person sees everyone as a friend because he or she knows that everyone’s life is as complex and as difficult as his or her own. How could he or she ever push anyone away who is on the same challenging journey that he or she is on, and so often struggling just as hard? That is what makes the world friendly to a humble person. He or she sees the soul that is wearing the costume, and he or she loves that soul, even if the costume is angry or jealous in the moment.

Focusing on what is wearing the costume—the soul—instead of on the costume allows you to see your interactions from an impersonal perspective. You do not need to take the anger or jealousy of another individual personally. You can see that he or she is a soul like you and, like you, is reaching for love. How we choose to learn love—through fear and doubt or through wisdom—is the choice that all of us make continually. Humbleness allows you to learn through wisdom.

The next time you feel unworthy, inadequate or inferior, remember that these experiences have nothing to do with humbleness, any more than lowering yourself to connect with another individual has to do with humbleness. There are no lower or higher individuals in the perception of a humble person. There are only souls. There is only love. Humbleness is one of the characteristics of authentic power. As you create authentic power, it touches you and others like a blessing.

To learn more about humbleness, visit and read The Seat of the Soul. You can send questions to Gary Zukav at and he will answer as many as he can on his website.

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