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I'm Awesome: How I Regained My Power

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This occurred to me very recently: I have the power to make my life easy or difficult.

It seems like such a simple thing. If something can be distilled down into just a few words, it has to be easy, yes?

Yes. I mean, sort of. Only "sort of" because now, to do this supposedly simple thing, I have to go around collecting my power from the people I've been giving it to since... forever.

There's not much left in my own reserve. So little, in fact, that I'm reminded of all the times I've been too lazy to turn the near-empty bottle of hair conditioner upside-down before I step out of the shower. Then, of course, the next time I'm washing up, I have neither the time nor the patience to flip the bottle and wait while the remainder pools near the opening. I open the lid, swish a little water around, and pour the watered-down contents onto my head.

"Forget it. This diluted mess is good enough," I tell myself.

The diluted mess has always been good enough for me.

I've been giving away my power for so long, to so many people who didn't even really deserve it in the first place, that I've had to make do with the dregs of what's left for most of my adult life.

It is only now that I realize what a profound impact this has had on my development and my happiness. My broken memories are populated by broken people with either too much power or not enough power.

Almost every time I venture out of the house lately, I bump into someone I so willingly gave my power to back in the day. I am reminded of what they used to say to me. I am reminded of how I stayed silent during all of it.

Your ass is too flat. You have a little girl's body. I don't like it when your hair is up. I don't like it when your hair is down. You swear too much. You're not friendly enough. Your laugh is too loud. You laugh too much. You talk too much. You're not the kind of girl I can bring home to my parents. You dress like a sa mo neem (pastor's wife in Korean). You dress like a hooker. You're not very smart. You're too smart. Your cooking tastes like shit. You're a piece of shit. You're a whore. You're a waste of time.

Fuck you. I'm awesome. That flat ass? Mine. I own it. I love it. That laugh? Mine. I love it. My clothes? That's my style. Get over it. I love it.

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"There is a crack in everything. That is how the light gets in." -Leonard Cohen

As I become brave enough to own me, and as I allow my cracks to grow longer and wider, the light grows brighter, highlighting all of my dark secrets and ugly imperfections.

All things, even ugly things, take on radiance in the light.

This post originally appeared on Elizabeth Jayne Liu's blog, Flourish in Progress.

For more by Elizabeth Jayne Liu, click here.

For more on emotional wellness, click here.

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