Updated: Aug 22, 2021
No one has the right to co-opt your power or to have control over your life. That power is yours and yours alone. Take it back and wield it like a skillful gladiator. No one has the right to silence your voice. That voice belongs to you and only you. So let it be heard - speak up on your own behalf! No one has the right to dream for you or to sell you their often diluted versions of your dreams. When you dream, dream big and follow it wherever it leads. You should never be one of the extras in your own movie. Shine brightly on your own stage and let the haters hate. That's what they do anyway. Never choose to settle for less when everything you have ever desired or needed stands right in front of you. You do get too choose your happiness and you do get to choose your own power.
What I am speaking of here, is not a narcissistic, self-obsessed version of self-love that arrogantly tramples on others or seeks to be the center of attention. Rather, I speak of a love that is grounded in healthy self-worth, self-respect, and dignity. This self-love celebrates your right to simply be -authentically, unashamedly the best and highest version of yourself.
Happiness, therefore, is never accidental. It is intentional. With every decision one makes or fails to make, the consequences of that act of commission or omission have a ripple effect in one's life. But whatever the outcome(s) of those actions, the responsibility of those decisions are solely that person's. We often project our happiness on to some undetermined time in the future, hoping that we will eventually be happy when things are perfect. In so doing, we often overlook our actions in the present not realizing that all future outcomes begin to brew in the present. The key to happiness in the future is to choose happiness now. Let happiness be your intention in everything you do in the present. That way, your decisions and actions will be made with happiness as the outcome. If something does not contribute to your happiness now, why would it down the road? It takes a courageous person to choose the life they want to have now and to be intentional with every action. So love yourself the way you want to be loved and never leave that task to another. We receive and accept what we are and what we feel.
Your power is yours to wield -and not to be given to another. We sometimes place the responsibility of our own choices on to others and are shell-shocked when they choose the option that works to their advantage. But why? They only did what you should have done in the first place. That responsibility was yours to begin with but you gave your power away. Do not be lazy. Get up and do the work that is required of you! If something is unsettling or just doesn't feel right, speak up! If you are not in agreement with someone, be honest about it! If you have an idea that you think might be a better option, share it! If no one advocates for you, so what! Fight for yourself and push through your obstacles. You'll be better for it in the long run! Do not allow yourself to be an optional character in the story of your own life. Take charge, control your narratives, and own your voice. Who knows best about what you dream about or are passionate about better than you do? Who understands your talents, skills, capabilities and even your quirks better than you do? Who is best poised to articulate your life's mission and goals more fluently and confidently than you? So spend a bit more time with yourself. Get to know yourself so profoundly that you become your own manual. You are the authority of your life for the buck stops with you. So embrace every opportunity at your disposal to set things in their rightful place and never look back. Live, learn, but keep moving.
So my challenge to each of you is to see yourself as worthy of everything that is good. Do not become entitled but be grateful even for the little things. Your missteps along the path are only teachable moments that can prove to be advantageous if you are willing to embrace the process. Do not be afraid to walk away from something or someone that belittles, undermines, or threatens anything about you or what you stand for. But believe that you are enough. Whatever your expectations are of others, first demand them of yourself. Because settling for less is never an option for those who consciously walk their own path. Do right by you each and every day. It is a gift of love and kindness that only you can give. You will only be better for it.