Taking Inventory

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s this: Just because we get served a sh*t sandwich doesn’t mean we have to eat it. Nope. Not once we understand that we have choices, anyway.
It takes a personal audacity to question, take exception, define and decide all for ourselves, but guess what? That autonomy to NOT accept the status quo — especially one that’s stale and antiquated and keeping us stagnant — is our birthright.
I didn’t always know this. In my 20s and 30s I was the kind of person who’d do: A) what I was told because authority told me to, B) what I knew other people wanted even if it wasn’t what I wanted myself, and C) what I’d previously committed to no matter if it went against my better judgment.
I got married to the wrong guy that way… pushed around in a job that way… fell into a destructive numbing pattern that way. Call it overly responsible, lack of backbone, blind to my own soul, nauseatingly co-dependent… whatever. All I know is that, in spite of a whole lot of squawking and hand-wringing, the ability to choose for myself was significantly impaired.
Until, that is, I finally found the inner permission to challenge the thinking that had kept me caged. Until I started asking myself some serious questions.
I’ll tell you many of those questions took me years to answer: soul-searching is transformational, for sure, but a quick proposition it isn’t.
When was the last time you took a real inventory? Have you paused long enough to consider…
• all the rules you observe but didn’t write
• whether your values and priorities line up with the ones placed upon you by outside forces
• any narrative that has you feeling ugly, incompetent, paralyzed, apart from yourself
• the outdated, unhelpful or flat-out nonsense beliefs about the direness or permanence of a negative situation
• if the path you chose at an earlier point is one you’d choose again today
• whether you’re living in a way you’re proud to call your own
This challenging doesn’t have to be a contemptuous undertaking. It doesn’t have to be a declaration of war on yourself. It just has to be true. True for you, based on a thorough poking and prodding of the way you see and do life. True for what *is* based on your definitions, rather than the ones you’ve been fed.
Soul-searching is transformational, for sure, but a quick proposition it isn’t.
I want to offer you a dare: Resist the temptation to just go with the flow, especially if the flow is taking you farther away from yourself. But the only way you know that is if you listen to the nagging voice within that’s giving you clues.
So, please, question. Challenge. Be bold and honest and real. And then use your grit and guts to create an existence based on your beliefs, your values, your priorities, your rules, your narrative, your path.
I love you. You can do it.

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