A few years ago, upon moving to England, I was out for drinks with a new friend, telling her about my most recent breakup.
I was left for another woman, and I chose to stay with this man my first few weeks in the city, as I didn’t want to be a burden on my friends.
“Oh, so you’re a masochist.” The words were delivered like a blunt blow, straight to my chest.
I mumbled some half-ass defence and drowned out the sound of my voice in gin. I was full of sh*t, and I knew it.
I believe that we choose our own suffering, whether it is a conscious choice or not. We justify it in our heads. We choose to play the victim. “This is just how it is.” “This always happens to me.” Sound familiar?
We create our own drama. And even when we create this reality, we usually pretend to not be aware of it. We put our careful creations in a nice little box, seal them tightly, shove the box behind a door and dare not to open the door ever again.
We choose to play the victim, because stepping into our own power is terrifying.
It is terrifying to acknowledge, accept and own the fact that we have power in our lives.
We have the power to say no.
We have the power to stand up for ourselves.
We have the power to take care of our bodies.
We have the power to go about our days calmly, or flip out every time something doesn’t go according to plan.
We have the power to say sorry.
We have the power to exist exclusively in healthy, nurturing relationships.
We have the power to choose suffering.
We have the power to choose joy.
Not owning our power allows us to live our lives in a really small way—a safe way, but a small way.
When we don’t own our power, it’s easy to point the finger at someone else every time something doesn’t go our way. It’s easy to blame someone else when we are hurt. It’s easy to push away our true desires because creativity and inspiration scare us—there is no guarantee it will work out.
True power is owning our stories. True power is being afraid and deciding to jump anyways.
Owning our power means saying no when it is of service to us. It means holding ourselves and others accountable for wrong doing. It means saying sorry.
Owning our power is honouring our health, eating what makes us feel deeply good in the long run. It is learning to be calm in the face of challenge, finding the ease in a difficult situation. It manifests as quitting the job that makes us miserable, or breaking up with the friends and partners who make us feel less than worthy of all the love and belonging the world has to offer.
Owning our power is choosing joy in all that we do, taking the risks in our personal life and professional life to create the existence we have dreamt of. It is learning where we have held ourselves back in the past, and choosing to not continue to let this story sit in the driver’s seat.
We only get to live in this body, in this context, for a short period of time. Why on earth would we want to waste that by pretending we are anything less than a force to be reckoned with? Why avoid risking failure, if that also means risking true joy?
Your life is yours to own, so be brave with it.
Be brave, and drop the struggle.
“Without bravery, you will never know the world as richly as it longs to be known. Without bravery, your life will remain small—far smaller than you probably wanted your life to be.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
Author: Annabelle Blythe
Editor: Nicole Cameron