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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Emancipation of Helen

   Thought I would write about the day I realized I was self-sufficient and could do anything I put my mind to, or rather, anything to which I put my mind.  It was 1979 and it was the day I fixed the vacuum cleaner.  Seriously, this was a life-changing event for me.
   I know this sounds like no big deal, but to someone who had been told all their life they were stupid, it was a revelation.  The proverbial lightbulb went off in my head and illuminated like a blinking neon sign screaming, You are woman, hear you roar!!  Then, I beat my ex at chess.  Life was never going to be the same again.  I beat 'The Intimidator' at chess.  I'm struggling to find the words to describe all the emotions.  Suprise, glee, cocky, sailing, floating, flying....well, you get the idea. 
   I had always felt diminished by the people closest to me so something as simple as fixing the sweeper made me realize, "Hell, if I can fix the sweeper and beat meany-butt at chess, I can do anything!!  Living with confidence was a whole new and lovely experience.  So, don't underestimate or dismiss the little stuff.  It can actually be HUGE and life-changing if you're paying attention. 
   The moral is, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER let someone else define who you are.  You decide and then be it.  One of my daughter's favorite sayings is, Whatever you are, be a good one, Abraham Lincoln.  The other one she has that I love is: 
"You are always already happy. The reason you don't experience it is that it's covered up by layers of suppressed emotions and negative thoughts. Shift your attention and your inherent happiness flashes forth." -Steve Ross
   Be yourself.  And enjoy everything that entails.