The woman in the mirror

When we allow limiting thoughts, other people’s low expectations and misconceptions about our capabilities, purpose, etc, to enter our psyche, inertia seeps in leading to stagnation, demotivation, and helplessness.

We can easily find ourselves suffering from ‘BLAMEUS’ a made-up word but nonetheless, I’m using it to describe when a person becomes fixated on blaming others for their lack of progression, success, and self-fulfillment.

Look in the mirror. No, look in the mirror and you will see that the woman/man in the mirror is you. You have the power to determine your destiny, how you react, feel and allow your current situation to affect how you feel about yourself.  Irrespective of your gender, race, and class, you have ‘power’. Power to influence, the power to make changes, the power to accept/reject your situation.  As long as you have breath you have power, power power.

Remember Nelson Mandela? He was incarcerated for 27 years, but his mind, his thoughts, his dreams of freedom remained intact. His oppressors failed to destroy his dream, his ambitions, and his purpose.  He was inaugurated as the country’s first black president on 10th May 1994, at the age of 77. The man who was once a prisoner became president.

This shows that irrespective of our gender, race, class, or our situation, we have power over ourselves, our thoughts and aspirations. You may find yourself in the depth of adversity, banging your head on the concrete ceiling, or in the thrust of oppression. But remember you have power.

The problem is that we do not necessarily exert our power in a productive way.  For example, you may find yourself in a situation at work where you have been overlooked for promotion, your contribution and views are being ignored, or you may be in a situation where you feel there is no positive outcome.

Where there is a will, there is always away. My Grandmother’s words of wisdom. Or how about a Yoruba proverb:

Ubee eese l’use, onen yo gbe jake oun o se l’use.
Translation: A good beginning is of no value unless one perseveres to the end.
Meaning: He who perseveres to the end will be rewarded

To overcome challenges, adversity and difficult times require perseverance as well as resilience. These are terms bandied about and occasionally used interchangeably.  They mean different things. When you continue to put in the effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, challenges, or opposition, you are persevering. While resilience is shown by your ability to brush yourself off and recover from or adjust to misfortune or adversity.

For those of us who bear the scars of gender and racial oppression, we are testaments of resilience and perseverance.  Personally, I have and continue to draw on my arsenal of tools, support, and energy from my many BWA – Black Women Amazons, who remind me of the power within to move from the valley to the top of the mountain, metaphorically speaking.

Therefore, if I can keep going through trials and tribulations, and apply my power within to maintain my sense of purpose, continue to pursue my dreams, and fulfill my aspirations when others attack me. Then draw strength from my words – you have power and you will overcome.

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