Have you empowered yourself?
I spent many years not feeling empowered due to domestic violence and abuse for a large portion of my life. I really didn't even understand what it was to be empowered. Everytime I tried to stand up for myself or the things I believe in I would instantly hear the echoes of my abusers telling me how insignificant, stupid, ugly, or crazy I am for even thinking of expressing my own opinion or thoughts. Nobody cares what you think or believe is another common phrase I would recall. I always cared more about what other people thought of me and the possibility of judgement, so I would withdraw and keep my mouth shut. Over a decade ago all of that changed and I starting feeling lighter and free.

So how/why did that change? I wish I could say it was because I finally loved myself enough not to be my own worst enemy but in all honesty that wasn't the case. Everything in my life that has ever changed for the better has been directly connected to my biggest blessings - my children. In this case, I have a daughter that is Autistic and advocating for her has been a priority and to do that I had to learn to speak up and stand up for her to ensure she receives the support she needs to be successful in school. While I will give schools the benefit of the doubt that they try to offer everything she needs, it also needs to be understood that their goal at the end of the day is to ensure the required support is given and it is up to us parents to ask if there is any additional support available, and sometimes even have to know the process so well that we are able to directly ask for specific support that may not have been offered. 

When advocating for my daughter I was never concerned about what others would think, if they would call me names behind my back, or even judge me. You know why? Because she deserves to have a parent that will fully support her even if that means I am put in a normally uncomfortable position or role. Over time that persona I put on for my daughter's school meetings became my new reality of who I am. I didn't need anyone else to empower me, it was already inside me, and it had always been within me. I just needed to tap into it! To own my thoughts and my beliefs regardless if they are popular among other people.

This has given me the freedom to make major changes in my life that are not popular and people do call me various names but that is their issue, not MY issue. The way other people treat you or relate to you has so much more to do with them than it ever has to do with you. Read that again, the way other people treat you or relate to you has so much more to do with them than it ever has to do with you. I absolutely have found a way to love myself, respect myself, and accept myself. Flaws and all, I was uniquely created just like you. We have different strengths and gifts to offer the world but if we are always worried about what "they" will think, we will rob the world of our talents and gifts. How many lives won't be changed or how many people won't be inspired to make changes in their lives because you never shared your talents and gifts with the world?

In short, forgive yourself, love yourself just the way you are, don't worry about what "they" will say, they don't live your life...you live your life! My favorite phrase is, "If they don't pay my bills, put a roof over my head, put food on my table, or share my bed...then their opinion doesn't matter". Of course my children and my family are largely excluded from that statement but even my family knows I am going to do whatever I decide to do. If you can relate or struggle like I have, then take some time with yourself and tap into your empowered self and own your life. While others can inspire you which is awesome, only you can empower yourself. There is no human benevolent enough to empower you which is why our creator put that power within each of us, so when we decided to accept it or use it, we wouldn't have to look far to find it. My hope is this will help inspire others so they don't loose years like I did not embracing their beautiful empowered self.

I personally invite you to come join a free community of Authentic + Empowered Mamas, look forward to seeing you there.


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