Like so many others, I was greatly inspired to see so many women taking a stand for their beliefs at the recent women’s marches around the world.
I’m sure for many women, it was the first time they’ve stood up publicly to defend what they believe to be true.
Sometimes we need a big catalyst, such as the current volatile political climate, to bring us face to face with what we believe to be right and true, and to act on that knowledge. In those moments we find our voice and rise up to not only defend it, but inspire others to do the same.
To witness the sea of women (and men) who made the effort to take such a bold stand got me thinking about how much is needed in so many other areas of our lives. We face many hardships and setbacks that, instead of calling us to rise up and take action, leave us feeling defeated and broken, buried beneath the rubble.
Maybe your lover just walked out on you and now you feel unwanted and unloved. You didn’t land that perfect job you worked so hard for and you feel rejected, and are now questioning your abilities. You are in financial turmoil and your situation feels helpless and fragile. Your co-worker just berated and talked down to you, and your self-esteem (and your dignity) just took a big hit. Or maybe your marriage fell apart, as mine did, rocking your confidence, self-worth, and your hope for the future.
Often in these situations, it feels easier to shrink back a bit (or a lot), instead of using it as an opportunity for change.
When I went through my divorce, it was tempting to be the victim, to get stuck in sadness and grief, and pull further away from who I really was. It was easy to believe the lies swirling through my head about myself. But luckily, I recognized it as my moment to rise up. It was a call to connect with who I really was, to acknowledge my strengths, my beauty, and my truth. I took a stand for the kind of life I wanted to live, on my terms, and have let it become a beacon for others to follow.
If you desire to rise from the rubble, consider these helpful truths:
1. The situation you are in does not define you unless you let it.
2. The voice that matters the most is not the one yelling the loudest around you, but the one within you.
3. The opposite of what you fear is most likely the source of your strength, power and passion.
4. Rising up and taking a stand is empowering, no matter how scary it feels. Remaining beneath the wreckage will eventually take away your strength and power.
5. Be compassionate with yourself and those around you—even the ones seemingly holding you down. When we rise up with compassion and love, we are a mighty force for good.
The women’s marches reminded me of all of this, and the importance of not allowing ourselves to be buried beneath the hardships and challenges of life, but to use them as a point of strength to find our voice, rally like-minded people around us, and take charge of our lives and our future.
Author: Ruth Barski
Editor: Catherine Monkman