Who is in control here, me or the world? To some extent the world I live in has set the pace for my life. But really, I chose that. I could live differently. Right now, I choose to have housing, medical insurance, a vehicle etc. I have to pay for that. So I am employed and that sets much of the tone of my life. I am expected to show up and put in a days work, 5 days a week. And you know what, I am okay with that. But some people choose differently and maybe I should I look at making a different choice.
I am looking at housing these days (yes again) and wondering can I go even smaller? Would I be comfortable? Do I really need all this stuff? Right now I pay for storage each month. To store furniture I don’t have room for. I could almost let it all go, except my dad built this beautiful china cabinet and I could never replace that. Still, I saw this studio apartment for rent and thought, maybe? After all, how much room do I need? It’s not me that needs the room, but my stuff. I am attached to my stuff.
And why am I attached to my stuff? It is not expensive stuff. Probably the value of all my furnishings, pots and pans, lamps, rugs etc is under 2k, way under. But I look around and here is my history. My mom had that vase, my grandmother had this table. I remember how I struggled to pay off the living room furniture. This picture over my chair came from my moms house, the clock came from my dad. Over and over, this is my collection of my life. And I am attached to it. I have let go of the people through death or relocation or just the rhythm of my life, but their fingerprints are all around me.
I have seen this over and over, when going through and clearing out someone’s house after they pass. Their memories are everywhere. What meant nothing to me, had a whole story for them. Why did my grandmother have vials of her fingernails stuffed away in drawers? We will never know the answer to that. My moms things…. I knew the stories of much of what was visible. But the handkerchief pressed away in a book or the old worn out pair of shoes she did not let go of, those were her memories. And they left with her.
It is said we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. And yes we do. Sometimes in a way that is global, people fought for freedom, civil right and women’s rights. We would not be where we are without all those who came before us. But personally we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. Good or bad, they set the tenor of our lives, at least the beginning. Some of us became very strong through adversity. Some of us became very strong because we were believed in. We all had family and started out somewhere. And we carry that with us.
But back to the beginning, who is in control here? Do I want to live by default or choice? I have a history and that is what it is. I cannot rewrite it or change. But I can choose to bring along with me that which makes my life better. Because it was not all pretty, none of ours is. I can take my mom’s strength and recognize how hard she fought in a world that seemed unloving to her. I can leave behind her criticism and disapproval of me. I can see just because someone else says I am clumsy (for instance) does not make it so. I can see myself as graceful and make that my truth.
So everyday is a choice and my daily choices add up to my life. I can choose how I see myself and that translates to how I move through the world and how others see me. I set the tone for my day by intention. Each morning I can intend to have a good day, or a peaceful day, or a day I feel strong. I can intend every day to live my best life. I can intend daily to be kind, to be loving, to be a person others feel safe with. I can intend every day to find joy. I can be open everyday to all the Good life has to bring. I can intend to see myself as beautiful and valuable. I can set all these intentions and more because I get to choose how I react to how my life unfolds.
And so do you. This is your day, you week, your life. Honor those whose shoulders you stand on, but stand on your own two feet. Make your own choices, live your best life. See yourself for the beautiful human you are and get out there and let your light shine.
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