From the very first issue of her successful “O Magazine,” Oprah Winfrey included a column in each issue called “What I Know For Sure.” I have always thought that was a courageous and empowering thing for her to do, not just for her self, but for her readers. In this ever-changing, and always challenging, world that we live in, we all need something to hold on to, truths we can stand on to keep us grounded and help us to navigate through the daily choices we need to make in order to create, and live, our authentic lives. So I thought I would share a few of my own “What I Know For Sure” beliefs that keep me headed in the right direction.
I’m Okay, You’re Ok
I think the most important truth I have come to embrace, and which has done me the most good, is the idea that we are not broken. There is nothing to fix. There is nothing wrong with us. We were all born perfect, whole and complete. We did not come in to this world with an agenda of suffering, insecurity, screw-ups, and heartache. Yes, life may have handed us painful experiences, or brainwashed us into following a path that we might never have chosen on our own, but that doesn’t mean we’re broken, and it also doesn’t mean that we can’t make different choices and step on to a new and better path. You can own the painful experiences, grieve for them, and then surrender them to the past and take that first, new step.
I’m Free To Be Me
There is no set of rules written anywhere that says you have to be a certain way, look a certain way, behave a certain way, or embrace someone else’s beliefs and preferences. You are free to be who you believe is the truest and most authentic version of yourself. No one, not your parents, your friends, your boss, your partner, or anyone else can tell you otherwise. In fact anyone who tries to keep you from living the life you dream of is not, and should not be in your front row. You, and only you, are the author of your story, the captain of your ship, the creator of your life.
From the age of 5 I always answered that annoying question, What do you want to be when you grow up?, with the same answer: a writer. The response was either a condescending pat on the head, or a litany of reasons why that was not a great choice, especially for a woman. It seemed that before I could be a writer, I had to be a host of other things including a wife, a mother, a daughter, and card-carrying member of the PTA. In the words of David Hawkins, consciousness researcher and author of the international bestseller “Power vs Force:”
“The true Self is invisible and has no characteristics by which it can be judged. It has no describable qualities, nor can it be the subject of any adjectives at all. The Self merely is and is beyond verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. It does not even “do” anything.”
In other words, you don’t have to be anything or anyone except who you are, a divine and perfect creation who is here to love and be loved. Your job is to just be. The rest is simply whatever you choose to do that makes you happy.
Perspective is Everything
Wayne Dyer was always fond of using this quote:
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
For example, it’s not a “miserable” day if it’s raining, it’s just a wet day. Or, you’re not hopeless because you misplaced your keys again, you just need to create a specific place to put them at the end of the day. Some other perspective changing ideas I’ve adopted are:
Bloom where you’re planted.
Do what you can, from where you are, with what you have. (I borrowed that from Mike Dooley, creator of Notes From The Universe).
If life hands you lemons, don’t just make lemonade … make the best damn lemonade in the world, sell it for a fortune, and plant a whole grove of lemon trees!
Nothing is good or bad until we make it so. Why grow weeds when you can grow roses?
So that’s just a few of the things on my “What I Know For Sure” list. As you might have guessed (because you are all brilliant and talented writers), your assignment for this week on the Home Page is going to ask you to create your very own list. As always, have fun with it and, whatever else you do, keep writing.
Peace and blessings.