thoughtful thursday: you have a right to your life

Perhaps the most important lesson one can teach:

you are someone and you have a right to your life“.

Richard Hugo

Who gets to decide what the contribution of your life will be?

Natalie Goldberg said, “I went home with the resolve to write what I knew and to trust my own thoughts and feelings and to not look outside myself. I was not in school anymore: I could say what I wanted.”

She recognized she was unconstrained. She was a person outside of other people.

That would be me at thirty. Thirty years old, released from my notions of people-pleasing and attempting to smooth out things that were out of my control. And I recognized I had a voice.

A voice that also liked to write. Walking away from a weekend writing conference, I was determined to write. No one gave me a writing pen. No one told me they saw talent. No one gave me permission. Just write.

Anyone who has letters after their name, money in their bank account, loads of followers — are deemed to have made a valuable contribution. We appreciate all of these people who have made a contribution and presence in our world. They often have.

But it wasn’t a handful of people plucked out of the world to be contributors in our generation. We are given that rite of passage because we were born.

We all were created for a reason. Some common reasons. But still unique reasons to each one of us. With internal compellings for different activities and different thought lives, and different approaches — when we’re all playing our part, we contribute a rich abundance to our world.

It seems intuitive: this is your life. With the demands of those around us and the demands we place on ourselves by listening to others’ opinions on our lives, we are not always living our lives, or allowing our voices to come off mute. But we can.

There are two important days in your life. The first was when you were born. The second was when you found out why.” Terry Tempest Williams