What I’ve learned about life so far. What a huge question. I thought about this blog post all day yesterday, wrestling with the big things and the small things I’ve learned so far. When I woke up this morning, I found a Facebook post on my page and it summed it all up nicely.
What I’ve learned about life is that it’s yours to live.
I’m naturally quiet and can lean toward being passive. It’s easier for me to say, “No..you do what you need to do, I’ll wait” rather than push for what I want or need. And being a mother just cements that mentality, doesn’t it – for years we’re giving and giving, waiting for the time when it will be our turn again.
The older I get, the more I realise how fast time moves. My children are so big now and I wonder how that happened. I’m another year older in the blink of an eye.
What I’ve learned is that it’s all up to you.
No more waiting.
Here is the post from Elizabeth Gilbert. If you don’t already follow her on Facebook, check out her page. She inspires me every morning.
Dear Ones –
When I think about how hard my mother pushed me to become as strong and independent and resourceful and resilient a person as possible, I believe it was because of this truth — which life had already taught her very well:
Bad things happen to women who wait for good things to happen.
Waiting to be rescued, waiting to be noticed, waiting to be heard, waiting for things to change, waiting for somebody to defend you, waiting for somebody to understand you, waiting for things to get better, waiting for a miracle, waiting for recognition, waiting for a promotion, waiting for the economy to pick up, waiting, waiting, waiting…
But here’s the dangerous thing about spending your life waiting: When you are paused — defenseless and passive — the world around you does not pause. Life remains in session, which means: THINGS KEEP HAPPENING. Whether you show up or not, life will keep occurring. And as you sit there waiting for good things to happen, all sorts of other things are happening around you. And if you continue to just sit there (hoping and waiting for something “good”) then things will not only happen around you, but TO you. And the less you participate in that story (the story of “your life is in session”), the more likely it is that the things happening to you will be based upon other people’s decisions, other people’s power, other people’s demands, other people’s needs, other people’s manipulations, other people’s will — in short: other people will show up and start using your life for their own purposes.
Other people’s purposes are unlikely to be in your best interest.
This is very, very dangerous.
Please understand: I am not a forceful person, by nature. I was not, by nature, born confident and certain. My brain and heart lean more toward “worrier” than “warrior”. My inclination as a child was to hide in quiet rooms, safely building nests of blankets and pillows — wishing to not have to participate. So reluctant to even be here!
But my mother had already seen what happens to girls who grow up to be women who are reluctant to engage with their own lives. She wasn’t having it. It was a battle for my mother to forge me into somebody who could participate in her own life at every level, rather than softly folding in on herself, and becoming life’s victim. But my mom didn’t give up on that battle, because she cared about me. And when I’m feeling scared and small, I STILL have to reach deep down and find that power to show up — to keep participating in my own choices, no matter how hard it is. And to accept the consequences of my choices from a place of sober self-accountability…which is the ultimate source of power.
If there’s one thing I’m trying to do on this page, every single day, it is to pass that lesson onto you.
I want you to take agency over your own life.
I know: You’re afraid sometimes to take agency over your own life because you’re afraid you will make the wrong decisions — but if you don’t make decisions for yourself, then decisions will be made for you, by somebody who may or may not (probably not) feel the same sense of sacred stewardship over your one rare and precious life that I want you to feel.
This doesn’t mean you have to do everything alone. Find your team, find your tribe, find your supporters, find your coaches, find your teachers — find those who will love and uphold you. But make sure they are people who know that you are strong — not people who fear that you are weak. Make sure they are encouragers, not enablers. Ask their advice. Listen to their wisdom. Fall in their arms at times in tears, seeking comfort.
But then — DECIDE.
Make your move. Understand that your life choices must originate from your own power — or else somebody else will lay their power upon you. And that will never be a good thing.
Stop waiting, everyone. Please don’t forget this: Any move you make — born of your own volition — is better than BEING moved by somebody else’s hand.
I love you, and you can do this.