The process of stepping into ones' own power means owning oneself fully and truly. It means facing every part of you, especially the parts of you that you hide to be socially accepted. Shadow work is essential in this process, as most of us discard and disown elements of ourselves that we cover in shame and self-rejection. That means feeling the depth of negative emotions, "abnormal" (I say this in quotes because what I mean is, anything outside of what society defines as normal which is a rather limited box) needs and basically, anything about ourselves that we'd cringe at if someone else found out about.
For me, that was feelings of neediness, loneliness, sadness, a fear of rejection and vulnerability. If we all came out and said what it was that we hid away, we'd probably come to find that we all hide the same things.
On the spiritual path, if you're like me and have had a share of traumatic events, you'll likely dissociate or want to escape from the heavier feelings and move towards the lighter ones. As a shaman identified for me, this is a form of spiritual bypassing. Although it feels like we are on the path towards enlightenment, we do need to face the discomfort to be able to drop into our bodies because the truth is, our power is in our bodies. If our spirits journey out, our bodies are left defenseless and our visions lose their grounding. Often times in these moments we'll hit a "Detour" or what appears/feels to be like one. It will often feel like a trauma itself, but what it's doing is dislodging our deeper traumas in our unconscious that are matching this circumstance. These detours are what allow us to step into our power.
Throughout the process, it can be grueling, but keep in mind that we are only given that which we can handle. If you are a person like me, a very old soul, a healer, an empath, then you already know that you've signed up for a hell of a lot of challenges in this lifetime to refine you, to make you stronger and suited for the large undertakings ahead. We can only heal people as much as we heal ourselves, after all. Before my "detour", I was taking on the energies of other people, their pain, their wounds and not realizing that those were only being absorbed because they matched something in my past that I'd buried in my subconscious. On the other side of this detour, I realize how much faster I can go down my path now after clearing out all of the darker, residual aspects.
We are human- and as human beings we are wired to judge. And that judgment is information not for the other person, but for ourselves- it brings up our belief systems and what we fear within ourselves. We can use this as useful information in our transformation process as it makes us more powerful.
Remember that power is not what we are conditioned to believe it is: it is not masculine, domineering, aggressive. That is overcompensation. That is purely gender based conditioning. Real power is integration. Real power is feminine and masculine. Real Power is ownership of the self, ugliness and all.