I often tell this story of my grandmother. She was this tiny little woman. Widowed with four children. She was adamant about keeping her children safe and never remarried. She began to foster children and in the end had helped raise 52 children outside of her own. She was and is my example of a woman in her power. My dad was this raving lunatic fueled by alcohol. She was the one in the room that could sit him down. She was never smart or loud or angry. She’d quietly tell him, “It’s time to sit down now,” and down he went. All because she was always standing in her own power. When a woman in her power walks into a room she can call order… Think about that.
It’s all about how we show up. Everything we experience is about how we show up, what framework we’re standing in, and how you choose to interact with the circumstance. Every time we choose not to choose, we’re handing somebody our bucket of choices. If you’re not making the choice, someone is. Moment by moment.
Most of the time when we walk away angry, we’re mostly angry at ourselves and how we showed up. Yes, I know I just made you mad! That person did this to you! Uncomfortable situations are a lot like walking through a fire, you can skirt around the edges and get burned on this side, then burned again, over and over… or you can walk straight through, get one good singe, get out, and get it over with.
Deepak Chopra told me (and believe me, I was livid) “It is your choice.”
“Why would I choose what I have endured, childhood wrapped up in pain and suffering?”
“You are choosing how you deal with it. Pain happens. Suffering is a choice.”
We are just running and running on the inside… As if the hurt happened yesterday. As if that big scary man were right on our heels. We live in fear. Afraid to stop. Afraid to face that big bad boogie man. In the end, after having the courage to stop and turn around we realize that the only thing chasing us is us. The little “we” still wants to be seen and heard. If you can’t take a moment and see “you,” why should any one else care? You are who you are running from ultimately… and the truth.
And we forget that we’ve been running, or we’re angry, for years, and we have forgotten to turn around. When we finally do, we find that no one’s really there. That person got over it, maybe doesn’t even remember how they made you feel. (Maybe they’ve since been in a similar situation, and they’ve even felt remorseful about it.)
Often, we respond in an unfavorable way because we’ve left doors open from the past. If a predator walks into a room, who’s he gonna walk up to? A person in their power?… or the person with the back door open, the person who doesn’t know where they stop and the next begins? The person who is handing someone else their choices?
Nobody can do anything to you. (Or as Eleanor Roosevelt, a lady in her power, said it, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”) You have the power to choose to be the star of your movie …or you can choose to be a stand-in.
It’s important for us in the process of stepping into our power, to remember your light and power are right in front of you, you’re just in with your toes. Lean in! Think about where all your pieces are. There’s one over here, over there, with that person you handed it to earlier. Pull all those bits and pieces back in! Actively make that choice. Make it a habit! Practice saying it, doing it, and thinking it every day! Yes, making that choice is a lot of responsibility. Every choice from this point on, you have responsibility over. You can’t get mad at somebody else. But, the choice to choose happiness will bring more joy than pain!