I am pondering independence on this independence day weekend. What stops me from being free?
1. Self-doubt: in all it’s insidious forms. The nagging voice that tells me I’m too old or irrelevant to help empower girls to make their best choices. The gremlins that steal my sleep when something goes wrong (like a pandemic), telling me it’s all on my shoulders to fix it, and fix it perfectly. The oldest, deepest voice that whispers I’m really not good enough, after all.
2. Drama: and all those who worship at its feet. Yes, I’d love to be free of nasty, rumor-mongering drama, but, alas, it’s bigger than me. Where there are unhappy people with low self-esteem, there will be drama. What I can do is let it roll off me, like water off a fabulous raincoat. If I can hold that image of the words and actions of the drama queen and her court hitting my fabulous coat and bouncing off, then I can smile and carry-on.
3. Bad habits (See #1): most of the habits that do not serve me center around self-doubt and numbing to avoid it, like binge watching crime dramas instead of playing with my dog or taking a walk. Or staring at the wall, tied up in anxious knots, instead of moving towards a solution to untie them. Fortunately, I know how to change a bad habit: a) notice it when it’s happening, b) say, out loud or in my head, “I’m not doing that anymore“ and then c) do something, anything, else instead. Rinse and repeat until said action is no longer a habit. It’s time well spent.
4. Judgement of self and others (See #2): As long as I judge others, I cannot help them. Because some of those drama mamas are just over their heads and could use a hand. Judging others, no matter the circumstances, creates distance. As long as I waste time in judgment, of others or myself, I won’t have the time and energy to fulfill my mission of empowering girls to make their best choices.
Being free of this list makes me feel light and powerful. Just knowing that it’s possible to sidestep this list of doom and make a different choice for my one precious life makes me feel independent, indeed. Celebrate the independence that our ancestors fought so hard for by breaking free of your list of doom. If you need some help, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.