You Don’t Have to Join the Club

by Connie

labels & stereotypes

The Klutz ~ The Geek ~ The Loner ~ The Fat Kid ~ The Outcast ~ The Bookworm ~ The Anorexic ~ The Bulimic ~ The Middle Child ~ The Only Child ~ Childless ~ The Divorcee’ ~ Cancer Survivor ~ Incest Survivor ~ Widow ~ Rape Victim

These are just a few of the “clubs” that many of us have been initiated into. Let’s face it; we all have our crosses to bear, our “labels” that we carry around to identify us and our trials and tribulations; our emotional baggage. Everyone has wounds; some of them visible, some of them not-so-visible.

I believe that Life is a series of choices; each choice carrying its own consequences. Some choose to identify themselves by their labels. They classify themselves by their injuries and afflictions, both physical and/or emotional. They proudly carry their torment, trauma and damage around with them; letting it affect and infect every part of their lives.

They trade their self-reliance and personal power for their membership into “the club”…whichever club that is. Every interaction and experience in their lives is infused by their martyrdom. They are willing to suffer on a daily basis, or to even die for their self-limiting beliefs, for the privilege of having joined “the club”. They wear their victim-hood, well, like a fine tailored suit.

Listen to the synonyms for the word, “victim”: injured, casualty, wounded, target, prey, dupe and fatality. None of those are words I would ever want used to describe me.

Now listen to the synonyms for the word, “victor”: champion, warrior, advocate, challenger, winner and conqueror. How would you prefer to describe yourself, your past and your future?

It’s a personal choice to identify yourself by your labels, by your wounds. But by doing so, isn’t that limiting you? Aren’t you, then, boxing yourself in and minimizing you? What kind of message are you reinforcing and imprinting upon your soul, on a daily basis? Are you choosing to make you the victim, again and again and again?

Please don’t misunderstand me. My life, too, has had its share of challenges and hurdles, hardships and adversities. I’ve not lived in denial of these facts.

I’ve chosen to face my heartaches, head-on, and walk through the fire to make it to the other side, as a victor, not a victim. Looking back in hindsight, some of the fires were the size of scented candles, while others were more like forest fires. But a conscious choice was made by me, all the same.

My personal preference is to reject membership into “the club”, any club, as a matter of fact. I avoid clubs as much as I can. By nature I’m not a “joiner”, I never have been. And that fact has served me very well, in this Lifetime.

If you were able to speak with my close friends they could tell you, immediately, the two ways I refer to the past challenges in my life. I either call them “blips on the radar screen of my life”. Or I’ll say that “as each new day passes an unfortunate incident is getting smaller and smaller, in the rear-view mirror of my life”. I do not let the adversities and challenges in my life identify or define me.

I refuse to join “the club”.

I would like to share one of my favorite quotes from Marianne Williamson, with you. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”

“You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.”

“We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone.”

“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

I prefer to accept responsibility for the Life Lessons which are part of my current curriculum along with the consequences of my decisions.  I fiercely defend and support my preferences, embracing my independence, my self-actualization and my personal growth.

And while choosing my path, and many, many times, while creating my own path, I always try to maintain a positive outlook, along with a self-effacing sense of humor; about the opportunity I have been given. I always ask myself, “What is the Life Lesson for me, here? What is it I am to learn? How am I to grow from this?”

I’m always moving forward, not back.

At the very least, I know that as I drift off to sleep at night, as Frank Sinatra sang, “I did it MY way!”

And I accomplished it all without ever joining “the club”.

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