Sunday, June 10, 2007

Feeling proud

I've been offline for a few weeks now - living life, enjoying every moment.

This weekend, as I've been recovering from a nasty cold, I stumbled across episode fragments of Higher Ground, a one-season wonder of a show about a mountain school for troubled kids.

In episode 16, many of the main group of kids go on a "solo" - a solitary camp in the woods to get in touch with their inner children. Among their camping items, the counselors placed a list of questions, a journal, and an item from the past which each kid's parents sent.

The only question from the list which was revealed was: "what was the first thing you were proud of?"

Got me thinking.

The first thing that I felt proud of was finding a job and moving my family out of the state where we were all born.

Remarkable, really, considering all the other accomplishments in my life - being academically talented, receiving numerous awards in various subjects, being valedictorian, receiving a bachelor's degree - magna cum laude with a double major in 3.5 years, finishing a masters degree in one year, ... not to mention being a wife and mother.

But I never felt proud of these things. I never owned my accomplishments. I never believed I earned these things. I had always believed I was fortunate - in the right place at the right time. Or that I was simply naturally talented - god-given, if you will, but never really mine.

My therapist, John, challenged these beliefs of mine - often in the few short months I worked with him. He made me see that it wasn't blind luck or fate that got me where I am today. I got me here. Me. And all the choices that I've made.

Throughout my life, I had felt that I didn't have a choice. I had to do well in school. I had to score high and do well. That I couldn't kill myself or starve myself or hurt myself as much as I wanted to - because I had responsibilities. I was sucked into the beliefs that I was powerless in this life.

I was wrong.

No one is powerless. We all make choices - every day. In fact, it's a choice to own our lives, or to allow something or someone else to own it for us.

I've chosen to own my life. I acknowledge the choices I make and I make the ones that are right for me. I'm proud of all the choices I have made in my life, but I'm the most proud of the ones that I make now. Because all that I choose now, I choose with my eyes open and my heart and soul in charge. I own them.

What will you choose?

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