In today’s article, we’ll explore new ways to unabashedly yet kindly stand up for who we are and what we want. If we’ve ever wished for:
- a partner, family member or boss who would stand up for us,
- someone to save us from our current situation, or
- someone to stop taking advantage of us, read on.
Whose life is it anyway?
It’s our choice, our life, not somebody else’s. Why would we look to others to stand up for us or what we want? Maybe we’re afraid and think we’re not strong enough. Or, maybe we think we don’t deserve to be or get what we want.
Rather than hoping or expecting that others will stand up for us (aka “make us happy”) we owe it to ourself to stand up for us, by means of making happy, healthy choices. Like eating cleaner. Like meditating. Like getting into nature. We each have an innate knowing about what we need to do.
We’re individuals, responsible for our own choices, life, and happiness. It is not up to us to spend our whole life “trying” to help someone else be happy. It is also not our responsibility to fix them, pity them, baby and enable them to feed their addictions, weakness, and fears. Those types of choices keep us stuck, and enable them to not grow up spiritually.
A little story about what we want.
I had an 80-year-old fried who was lonely. So, she wanted to befriend a dog who came ‘round her house each morning. One day, I offered to paint her living room to brighten things up. As I painted, she washed dishes while looking out her kitchen window, and she saw the stray dog that she was hoping to befriend. She cooed excitedly, went to the fridge, plopped some leftovers onto an aluminum pie-pan and scurried outside. “Here, puppy, puppy, puppy!” she chirped, calling the dog towards her. The dog looked like it was starving. It had patches where the hair had fallen out, and it was more than scruffy. When it smelled food in the air, it licked its chops and took a few steps towards to the full plate of food. My friend quickly backed up, she was afraid of being bitten. Then, she called to the dog again, and the dog warily came towards her. She and the dog went back and forth in this dance for about 30 seconds. And then, the hungry dog left.
We’ve gotta quit sitting to stand.
There is no middle way, half-hearted way or sort-of way to stay sitting in our “old us” with our “old fears,” and also stand up for the “true us” and life that we want. If we want to befriend a dog, we’ve got to learn how to convert our fear of being bitten into a willingness to learn about the dog. By doing so, we give ourself permission to feel comfortable with the process and get to know the dog, and vice versa.
In another example, if we want to quit pretending to like football so we don’t have to go to any more games, we can’t keep going to the games and pretending to be a fan.
And, if we want to stop doing something we do too much, whether we’ve been sitting in laziness, or stuffing ourself with food, or having sex with soul-sucking people, or taking debilitating drugs, or whatever, we can’t pick up that habit on weekends, when we’re overwhelmed, when it seems convenient, when everyone else is doing it, when we’re “stressed,” or when we’ve “had a bad day.” We’ve got to stand up for the best of who we really are and what we really want.
Are we afraid to stand up for our real, best self?
We may feel uncertain whether we can stand strong. We may feel guilty, punish ourself, or feel unworthy to stand up and be our best. Maybe we’ve made some mistakes, and feel sorry about our past. We’ve all made mistakes. If we keep the guilt and regret active within us, we live with it—its sorrow is alive. And if we’re living in the past, we can’t stand up for who we want to be, now. If any of this rings true for us, it may be time to learn how to forgive ourself, others, and Life or God for how things turned out.
Are we ready to stand?
If we’re ready, here are three motivational steps to help us stand up for ourself:
- Ask ourself, “What do I TRULY, DEEPLY, MADLY WANT?” To befriend a dog? Write down a list of whatever comes up. We’ll know we’ve really got a good one when we can imagine ourself on our deathbed, having achieved that thing we want, and feeling happily satisfied.
- Read our list aloud, to someone we love. If we think we can’t or choose not to, we are not standing up for our lifetime chance to allow someone to walk alongside us in our dreams. We’re hiding our light. And living in fear. If we stand up now and speak our truth, things will change. They must. Because what we’ve been doing—ignoring, denying it, and keeping it in, holds us back from following through, and learning to trust ourself, Life/God and other people to be supportive of us and our journey.
- Ask ourself, “What one, small step CAN I take today to stand up for this? And to stand up for me?”