Editor’s Note: This is a continuation of our core conversation, “Extraordinary Women Change the World.” In our last post, Shann Vander Leek shared her journey of finding the goddess within her own self. Today, one of my (Angela’s) very own heroines, Desiree Adaway, challenges us to defy expectations and be our own truth.
You are not your wound, your weakness, or your resume. You are not your pain. You are not your job. You are not your income, your parents, your children, your partner, your community, or your circumstances. Sometimes we have too much faith in these things, these illusions. Our lives are not defined by these circumstances or by others. Those things may be facts… they are not always truth.
Who are you? Are you fact or are you TRUTH?
This has been the hardest lesson of my life. To let go of the labels, boundaries, and stories to get clear about who I am. Not the stuff I own or the circumstances that I have helped to create through action or inaction, but to get clear about WHO I am and the gifts I have to share.
What does it take for us as humans to feel full…satiated…satisfied…safe….whole?
In the past it has been about filling up something deep within some place in our soul that we think one more flat screen TV or 1,000 additional square feet will help fill. In reality, it’s about unlocking the key to gain access to the “good news.”
Beyond your exterior lies an interior that is so dazzling and powerful that it can transform lives. This place within shows us that we can love more, accomplish more, do more, and be more. The light that shines shows the way. It shows the TRUTH.
To see this in ourselves we have to see it in others. Empowerment is a two way street.
I cannot be whom I am supposed to be, if you are not who you are supposed to be. If my sister is not safe, then I am not safe. Her lack of safety reveals my own insecurity at a deeper level.
We become in people’s presence that which they expect us to be. People may want to hold you to your past””hold on to an old story, an old fact- an old judgment. I no longer let them. My opinion of self can not come from others. That source of power and light, of greatness, must come from me or it will not come at all
So I defy expectations””if they expect weakness, I am strong. If they expect less””I give more. I let them know who I am. I am more than fact. I am TRUTH.
About Desiree: Desiree is a consultant, strategist, coach, speaker, storyteller, and explorer. She uses her superpowers-her voice, sense of adventure, and belief in the transformative power of community-to help organizations design programs that create unrestricted revenue, volunteers, and advocates. You can find out more about her at www.desireeadaway.com, or follow her on Twitter at @desireeadaway .
I love this, Desiree! I feel empowered just by reading it. I am so glad to know you and experience your light.
@RachRodgersEsq We are connected and your success and saftey are just as important as my own…bathe in the sunlight– it is where we belong!
Desiree, this is beautiful. Just reading this inspires me to continue to find & shine my truth.
@NailahBlades Let your light shine– because that it what we are all meant to do!
Angela Wheeler says
“My opinion of self can not come from others. That source of power and light, of greatness, must come from me or it will not come at all.” <—— I think I may put this up on my wall as a daily reminder! 🙂
Such a wonderful, empowering piece of writing. I really appreciate you expressing that empowerment is a two-way street. It’s essential that we support each other and celebrate other people’s empowerment. I feel blessed to know you.
@Angela Wheeler Thanks so much for allowing me to share my thoughts with this series of AMAZING women. I am so honored and humbled.
Oh my hat…I love (LOVE) this piece!
“I cannot be whom I am suppose to be, if you are not who you are suppose to be” – this just rocked me off my little, black office chair!!!
All my life I have been the “performer” – the one who mirrors what I think others are, want, feel, need. The utter exhaustion of trying to be someone elses fact…..made me loose my truth for years. In the deep place – I know I am truth, but your words called her out this morning! I am at a new beginning – there’s a shift towards embracing me and my truth no matter the “cost”.
Today I too want to say: I am TRUTH.
Thank you for sharing this….I appreciate it so!
@neritia I am so happy it spoke to you. We have to be still and hear who we are at our core and KNOW it is safe for us to be that person. We are sisters and I am your keeper like you are mine. 🙂
“This has been the hardest lesson of my life. To let go of the labels, boundaries, and stories to get clear about who I am.”
So true for so many of us. I fall into the smart, super-educated so that means I should do or be X trapping again and again. This hit home. Thank you.
@cnsl2creativity So glad that it resonated! We are all on a journey and only we get to determine what is right for us.