Today is "International Women's Day" and one of their themes is "Be Bold For Change".
I looked up the word Bold, to see what its expectations are.
"(of a person, action, or idea) showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous."
Being bold means taking risks and being confident enough to start out.
I don't believe you have to have the whole route planned; but you do have to know what you want to change.
Change can be small.
And, we each are defined by what is bold for us.
My bold may not be bold enough for someone else OR too bold and too risky for others.
I didn't start out where I am today.
My first step was shaky and timid; but with great resolution.
I knew what I wanted, and hoped to accomplish.
My inspiration was to do differently than the women who, I believe, failed me.
I was going to be the change I wanted to see in the world.
Which meant, I had to take risks and be bold.
I wasn't confident, but I was courageous...just to take the first steps.
I had to be willing to enter into conversations and confrontations without a known exit.
Nothing was off limits.
All was to be examined and faced, as well as accepted.
I had to be the woman I thought my mother was.
Morals and values with the fierce determination to up hold them, no matter what or who I had to walk away from.
I signed up to be for bold change against violence.
Here are the categories beneath it.
educate youth about positive relationships
challenge those who justify perpetrators and blame victims
donate to groups fighting abuse
speak out against the silence of violence
be vigilant and report violence
campaign for the prevention of violence
abstain from all violence, physical and otherwise
volunteer your help at a local charity
recognize coercive control and redress it
I have been doing most of this.
The second line, "Challenging those who justify perpetrators" may mean family, friends, colleagues.
It means taking a risk and speaking out. It could mean losing a relationship as you challenge someone.
Typically, it will not be standing face to face with perpetrators but, rather questioning those who stand with them. These perpetrators do not act alone. They always have a defensive core around them. Who are you standing with?
Being Bold For Change, means being an active risk taker.
I listened to Rob Bell speak of The Third Way
What I got from this, is that there is another way, besides turning the other cheek in passivity or retaliating with an eye for an eye.
I see the third way for me, was to step out of abusive relationships. Instead of me being the one to suffer the consequences of their dysfunctional or codependent behaviors, I was the one to take my power back.
He made reference to Roza Parks. How her refusal to be part of something, was her third way. I agree.
I have been refusing to be part of the abuse cycle that has gone on for generations in my family of origin. I am the Roza Parks. I refused, and be damned the consequences.
I did draw a line in the cement.
I am unmovable.
That is what I believe we need, to end the longevity of abuse. Someone has to stop it.
Refuse to be part of it...willingly or unwillingly. It has to end with you.
Take the risk and just refuse.
The energy and momentum that happened when I stopped giving my energies to the cycle of abuse, is quite remarkable.
My inner changes, explorations, self-empowerment, and self-worth rose with each refusal.
You first have to know what you refuse to do.
It isn't often what you support, but rather what you will no longer stand for.
And, in my case, my inner self was so weakened by years of denial, I didn't have an ounce more to give to the cause of dysfunction.
And, yet there seemed to be an untapped source of boldness towards not letting the abuse by my father define me. As well as an unlimited supply of courage to stand by victims and myself.
Standing up for myself in front of my mother was my greatest achievement...in refusing to agree as she justified her actions.
Again, abusers are someone we know 95% of the time.
Will you be bold enough to challenge your relationships?
When was the last time you refused to participate by disagreeing?
Being Bold for Change is a way to celebrate International Women's Day.
I looked up the definition of Refuse.
"Indicate or show that one is not willing to do something. Indicate that one is not willing to accept or grant."
What we fail to appreciate, is that we agree by not refusing!
Refusing, is where new energy flows.
I refuse what does not empower!
That's being badass!
Refusing is an empowering action!
Women rise by refusing to agree with what insults their souls!
Happy International Women's Day - I celebrate by refusing!