Did you choose you or did someone else tell you who to be?

How did you come to be who you are? Did you choose the person you are or did someone else-society, religion, your parents-tell you who to be?

Recently I served as a panelist as part of a discussion on black woman, stereotypes and the #MeToo movement. The discussion centered on the stereotypes associated with black women and how those stereotypes helped perpetuate sexual violence against black women and how those stories are or are not being told in this time of #MeToo.

During the discussion the topic of black womanhood came up, specifically, what it means to be a black woman. My response was that as women, we came into our womanhood in a patriarchal society and that our womanhood has been defined by others. Men. A society that is male centered and male dominated has decided what the standards for being a woman are and women themselves have perpetuated this standard. Men have decided the standards for what a woman should be, how she should dress, how she should speak, how she should behave, wear her hair, who she should date and most importantly, her sexuality.  And all of it is based on the needs, wants and desires of males.

Question for you: Did you as a woman have a say in setting the standard for who you are as a woman or did you fall in line with what was dictated to you? Do you sit quietly when you really have the desire to roar because you have been told that a lady is not loud? Do you stand by when you seen an injustice being committed against others when the warrior spirit in you really wants to fight against that injustice? Do you forgo the short miniskirt that set your heart ablaze when you first saw it or do you choose the more “appropriate” longer skirt because society says that only whores wear dresses that short?

My point is to inspire you to think about how you became who you are. If you are not  being the woman you really want to be then I encourage you to courageously explore who you really are, what it is that you really like and what womanhood means for you  and start on the path to becoming that woman. Know that you are supported every step of the way by the Divine. After all, it is the Divine who created you.

Where Does Your Power Come From?

                                                         Photo credit: http://dronte.deviantart.com/

Where do you get your personal power from? Is it from an external source like your career, the car you drive, the house you live in or the number of educational degrees you have on your wall? Is it from the number of followers you have on social media or the number of “likes” your posts elicit? Do you feel powerful when you delete someone from your friends list on social media outlets? Does it make you feel powerful to cause another person pain or heartache; to possess something that no one else has? To be able to say “I told you so?” Does it make you feel powerful to impede the progress of others? To stand in the way of their success?

You may be surprised at the sources of some people’s personal power. You might be surprised at the source of your own! We all want to feel powerful, to feel significant. But power that comes from external sources is fleeting. True personal power comes from within and is developed when one comes to realize who they are; it does not come from external sources. Understanding that your power source is internal and is based on your Divine nature and not on your personal possessions or any external sources is power in itself. Once you realize your true personal power, nothing is beyond your reach.


“Today I want you to become aware that you already possess all the inner wisdom, strength, and creativity needed to make your dreams come true. This is hard for most of us to realize because the source of this unlimited personal power is buried so deeply beneath the bills, the car pool, the deadlines, the business trip, and the dirty laundry that we have difficulty accessing it in our daily lives. When we can’t access our inner resources, we come to the flawed conclusion that happiness and fulfillment come only from external events. That’s because external events usually bring with them some sort of change. And so, we’ve learned to rely on circumstance outside ourselves for forward or backward momentum as we hurtle through. But we don’t have to do that any longer. We can learn to be the catalysts for our own change.” 

~Sarah Ban Breathnach