“To be a strong woman, to be a fierce woman, to be a true woman, to be a leader, to be truly powerful, you have to get to place where you can tolerate people not liking you. And know that when you actually do that, you have to fall back on your own moral imperative in your own moral trunk and say, ‘I don’t care, this is what I believe. This is who I am.’” ~ Eve Ensler
I find that the more I step into my most authentic self and claim the life I most desire, the more I am challenged by the stuff that hasn’t worked. The other day I was telling a friend about how Thanksgiving with the food drama and football just doesn’t work for me. His incredulous response was, ‘Who are you hanging out with?”
That stopped me. It wasn’t just the “who” but the “why”. Yes, some of it is family-of-origin. We make choices to do things so we can be close to our families. We do this once or twice a year and suck it up. Fine. However, there was way more to it than that. It occurred to me that I have consistently hung out with people who don’t really share my values because I either didn’t know how to challenge them or have been too afraid to walk away. I have been afraid of being alone (although I still felt alone). I’ve wanted to feel like I belonged (although I clearly didn’t) It’s also true that I wasn’t fully supporting my own values with these choices.
As I step more fully into my power and into my path as an artist and community organizer, I have to realize that I will not always be liked. I will make some waves (god knows I have before). I need to keep going anyway. As a wise crone I met at a party recently told me, “Until women are treated equally in every way, including pay, you need to keep telling your stories.” Yes!
I like to make proclamations. It helps me to live them out more fully. So I make the following as a way of reminding myself what I need and who I want to be in my life and to set an intention to make it happen:
- In my house of love are the strong, the fierce and the true.
- In my house of love, people care not only for themselves but for all beings and are willing to take action and make sacrifices for the greater good.
- In my house of love dwell poets,writers, healers, lovers, freedom-fighters, artists, singers and other vagabonds who see, who are vulnerable and who embrace transparency.
- In my house of love, there is no entitlement, only respect, kindness, compassion, accountability and care.
- In my house of love, all are equal, all have a voice, all are loved.
- In my house of love, there is passion, play and pleasure (oh yes!).
- In my house of love, power is shared.
- In my house of love, love is given freely and unconditionally.
Finally, I saw this recently and feel so inspired by this man’s self-respect and strength. I can viscerally feel the resonance of his words written over 150 years ago. So powerful. This guy’s spirit is TOTALLY invited in to my house of love.
I once did some inner child work including writing with my non-dominant hand and created this little piece in my journal. It reminds me that home is important. I get to choose who comes in and who stay.