by Judy Ryan
“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and die with their song still inside them.”
—Henry David Thoreau
It’s difficult for many people, especially women, to choose themselves in their own lives and then they lead lives of quiet desperation. I have found myself lost in this way and always come back to re-choose me. It is only when we choose ourselves that we can allow the song inside of us to be sung; the song that is needed to grace the world and to live our mission with integrity. Choosing you means:
You are protective of who you allow in your life
I have spent the past years understanding how to recognize and avoid people who are not healthy for me. If you have not studied the various forms of narcissism, it would be helpful to understand them so you can avoid spending time with people who are narcissistic, including covert, vindictive, and classical narcissistic behavior patterns. Chances are, if you are reading this article and toxic people are a concern to you, you may be an empath: a person who feels and cares deeply, and likes to give to others, including helping them to grow and heal. This makes you likely prey to narcissists as they are drawn to kind, thoughtful and helping empaths they can suck dry. A good book on this is Dodging Energy Vampires by Christiane Northrup. In addition to narcissistic people, it’s important to consider even your loved ones when they operate from fear. For example, I know a smart, savvy professional and well-educated woman who wants to start her own business. Her husband becomes angry and emotionally threatening with her whenever she broaches the subject because he is fearful of financial loss. She is highly capable of running a business, has a beautiful vision for one, people showing up to partner with her, and I urged her to be careful to only share her vision for her new business with those people capable of supporting her courage and success.
You set purpose, values, and vision for your life and outline your part in creating them
Having a clearly defined purpose is what allows us to be fulfilled and is the most honoring thing we can do for ourselves. When you recognize your purpose, you see you have always been causing this from the time you were a child. One of my clients recently struck upon her purpose to create wholeness. She could immediately see how for years, she has been saving abandoned dogs who have been abused and fostering them until they become whole. Now she conscientiously causes wholeness in her personal and professional life, including how she chooses to behave to accomplish this and what form her visions are taking, for expressing her purpose.
You are unapologetically yourself regardless of whether people like you at any given moment or not
This one is the most challenging for me (and I believe most of us) and yet the most liberating too. It is why my mission is to create a world where people love their lives. I know that to choose you, you must be unapologetic (even within yourself) as to how you act, what you like and don’t like, how you think and behave, and that you are unwavering in your devotion and commitment to loving yourself and what is important to you, no matter what. This is a healthy way to be selfish and the only way to overflow love and care to others authentically.
You relentlessly speak up and push for honesty, accountability and loving results
I know that for myself, I confuse asking for accountability with being mean and often have a habit of blaming myself, taking on all consequences, avoiding letting someone go or asking for change, when in reality, I do myself an injustice. I recently hired a sales person. He is not getting me results I expect. I will be letting him go. If I’m not careful, I will tolerate him much longer than I should because he’s a great guy. To choose yourself is to be your own advocate and to refuse to judge yourself as greedy, thoughtless, stupid or any other self-concepts that have you playing small with situations that matter to you, whether the other person is letting you down intentionally or not. The more you advocate for you, the less likely you will ever be mean which is what we fear.
If you are seeking a life in which you choose you, let me know. I can help you create conditions and conversations that enable you to choose you and like the you that you are!\
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