I once heard that as an Indigenous woman, I already had three strikes against me in life that would make it hard. The first was that I was Indigenous, the second was that I was a woman, and the third was that I was an Indigenous woman.
It kind of miffed me to think about. I don’t disagree that life as a person falling under any of those labels is hard, but it was the way it made me feel about myself that upset me. I felt like I was already a lost cause, that this was how I was viewed and how I should view myself.
And to be honest, I don’t want to look at those things as “strikes.”
If things are going to change in my life and my situation, then it is up to me to take the first step right?
So, I decided to take those labels, those strikes, and view them as positives. They were to be home runs now.
Yes, I am a woman.
Yes, I am Indigenous.
Yes, I am an Indigenous woman.
And those are all wonderful, great things that I can be proud of.
I think sometimes we take for granted how much power we really do have as women. Sure, it’s easy to say that perhaps it’s a man’s world in which things are better for you if you are white and male and maybe they are in some cases to some people, but what will dwelling on that do for you right now?
What are you going to show the world when it comes to being you? What will you do for yourself and your life, and how will you use your accomplishments and blessings and gifts that you certainly do possess to help your community? Or in some cases, how will you use them in your own home with your family? Or your kids? Or the kids you will have?
We are women. We are, or can be, mothers. We are responsible for raising and nurturing and teaching our children from the moment they are born.
What will we teach them about themselves? How will we raise them to make this world a better place as well for our people? What kind of start will we give them in life? It’s all up to us, isn’t it?
Mistakes have been made in the past, and our reality was altered immensely by what happened to our people in our story, but we can write out a new future for ourselves now. We can learn from the past, we can heal, we can stop cycles of violence or battle poverty in our communities if we work together, and if we work for that good life.
I really do think we make better choices for ourselves and those we love if we start by loving ourselves, by building up our self-esteem, and by viewing ourselves in a positive light instead of letting labels get the best of us.
A new chapter can be started every day, but it is up to you to make it so.