Friday, February 16, 2007

With Will to Choose or to Regret?

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We must always see we have choices. And we must find ones that will bring us closer to what we want.
—Susan O’Halloran and Susan Delattre

In Emily Dickinson’s poem, Love’s Baptism, the original poem—unedited by her friends—Emily says she chooses a crown. Emily’s poem of self-realization reminds us we are greatly influenced by those who come before us. She talks about being a baby girl, crowing, unaware except of the love that supports her. She reminds us that the infant has no choice in name—it will be her father’s, or the ritual, his, too—which will be hers as well. But as a child attempts to make her own way, she discovers how she is different. Maybe, like me, she doesn’t fit the mold of domesticity, characterized by dolls and needlework, like other women in her family. As a daughter brings herself to leave her family’s home, she realizes she is no longer ‘theirs.’ Born of them, she cannot belong to her parents or the past, but she leaves them affected by the experience…and as a half unconscious Queen.

Simply put, our ancestors and the way they lived their lives leaves a legacy in our path. In the poem, Emily tells us it’s when a woman chooses her own authority that she becomes something more than a half unconscious Queen.

Esther Hicks talks about our generational influence in another way, “But over time, with enough pressure from those who surrounded you who seemed convinced that their practiced way was more valid than your way (and, therefore, ultimately better), you gradually begin to release your determination to guide your own life.”

While writing Grab the Queen Power, I realized I had been wrong about so many things. The legacy that loomed large over me made me sad and frustrated, or so I thought. My idea of finding my “best life” meant running from all the jobs and responsibilities I labeled as wife work. I also encouraged others to do the same. If we were to find happiness and freedom, we had to run as fast and hard as we could away from all the drudgery.

Here’s where I strayed. I assumed ‘we’ all wanted the same things. And because I had been fleeing from all things domestic, I had not learned there were parts of the role I needed to incorporate into my life in order to find happiness and fulfillment.

And as all tales do, my story had an ending. I reached the place I always wanted to go and was miserable, absolutely miserable after arriving. When you are running from your legacy instead of moving towards what you want, you will end up somewhere other than the place you intended.

It took me awhile, but eventually I figured it out. I did have the choice to shape and mold my life to fit my needs—not the needs of those who came before me or the needs of other modern women I knew. It didn’t matter how they lived their lives. Finally, I could see the choice was mine and only mine to make.

And one day...with will to choose or regret…I chose to be a Queen.

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