I started blogging a little over a week ago as a way to share some of my recent experiences, and I am finding that I am feeling more and more inspired each and every day. My goal was to start a light but inspiring diary of my life “a la divorce”, to help other women in the same situation find a source of comfort and inspiration. I’ve learned a lot in the last year and it was really important to me to share what I had learned. At the very least, I wanted women to know that they are not alone as they venture to change the landscape of their lives. But as the days pass, and I give thought to what inspires me most and what I would like to share on this blog, I think of the billions of women all over the world that face change and overcome adversity every single day. So I decided to start a new blog devoted entirely to inspiring some of those changes and triumphs.
I talk to countless women each day and many will ask me, over and over again “how do you stay so positive”. The truth is that I ‘choose’ to be. As members of the human race, we are all privy to ‘choice’. That’s not to say that our choices are easy or that they won’t present us with their own set of challenges and obstacles, but they there for us to make, to learn and grow from, maybe even make a few mistakes along the way. The important thing is that we exercise our right to make them, no matter how difficult, or uncertain or frightening they might seem. It is important to remember that without exercising our right to choose, we are also not writing the story of our life. We are merely playing a part. The part that we are playing is the one that has been handed down to us from society, our friends, our family, our religious beliefs, our cultural background, etc. These all have a very powerful influence over us and if we are not aware of that, we risk going through life in autopilot, never knowing true freedom and fulfillment. That’s not to say that you should abandon any or all of these things, for they are all important and bring value into our lives. However it is not our purpose in life to accommodate them.
The scary thing about choices is that we can’t always foresee the outcome. The only thing that we can do is make a decision based on the information that we have at the time. And let’s face it, sometimes there is not a whole lot of information. And in a society that so diligently encourages ‘the long term plan’, we tend to opt for making the ‘safe’ choice, which at the end of day means no choice, really. Especially when we have no guarantee of how things will turn out. But by avoiding choice, we keep coasting through life on autopilot, following the path that we deem as certain, never knowing our true purpose or finding fulfillment. The truth is though that not even the safest of choices for the future come with a guarantee. Sure you can see where it could take you in the future if everything in your life, community and the world stays the same. But let’s face it, 5 years from now the economy could suffer a complete collapse and you will lose that job that you so desperately wanted to leave anyway in an effort to follow your dreams. Or that relationship that you were afraid to let go of because it seemed so familiar and safe at the time could one day cause you much more pain and grief than the pain of letting it go and moving on with your life in a positive direction…and most likely a much better and healthier relationship.
So how do we make a choice? How do we become the writers of our own lives? The answer is this: by practicing our right to choose. Find out as much as you can and put a balance of heart and thought into your decision making. In other words if you are over thinking it, stop and listen to your instincts for a while. If you are acting on emotion or impulse, stop, take a deep breath and look at the facts. Only then can we ensure that we are making a centered and balanced decision. Or as some would say a ‘heart’ decision, as the heart is the perfect balance of thought and emotion. When you feel that sense of balance and calmness, ask yourself what is the worst that could happen? Really? You’ll probably see that it is not as bad as you might have thought. And then make the choice that feels right for you…not the choice that feels right for everyone else. Remember that you were put on this earth to live, not to cater to. As long as you follow your heart and are true to your life’s purpose, everything else will fall into place eventually. Although most of the difficult choices we make in life require a lot of courage, remember that it is much worse (not to mention requires a lot more courage) to suffer a lifetime of unhappiness because you failed to make the choice that was right for you, than it is to suffer through a short period of transition that could ultimately lead you to a place of happiness and fulfillment.
What should you do if you need a good dose of courage? Think of the woman in the world that need to choose which one of their dying children gets the food rations first; think of the woman that choose to abandon their lives and abusive husbands to seek refuge in a strange town with no money, no family and no friends to support them; and think of the woman who choose to cross heavily armed borders with their families just on the slight chance of providing them with a brighter future. Now ask yourself, how difficult really is your choice? I think most of you will be estatic to realize that your choices are really not so difficult in comparison.
Don’t get me wrong…I’m not saying that we as women should celebrate if we do not suffer famine, war, and persecution…that’s not what I’m saying at all! What I am saying is that, if women all over the world can make the conscious choice to find the strength and the courage to change their fate and the fate of their families, in even most repressed and dire situations, then so can we! In fact those are the women that we should celebrate. Those are the women that we should give thanks to. For every choice that they make against adversity and in spite of fear is an example, every ounce of courage that they muster is an inspiration, and every time they change their fate for the better is a reason to believe in a bright and fulfilling future for all of us.