Are past saboteurs our greatest gift?

Emmeline Pankhurst
Image: Emmeline Pankhurst via Shutterstock

If it wasn’t for the British government dictating only men could have the vote, would we have had Emmeline Pankhurst and the Suffragette movement?

If it hadn’t been for the arrogance of men dictating to Coco Chanel how she should look, would we have the benefit of her style and the fact that she released women from the constraint of the corset?

If it hadn’t been for the appalling back street abortions we wouldn’t have had Marie Stopes changing the face of sexual health for women.

If it wasn’t for the incredible Malala Yousafzai standing up for education for girls in Pakistan would we have any idea of what is really happening in our life time?

As women in the western world in the 21st century we are living in the most privileged time in history, so far. Let’s not waste it. We owe it to the amazing women who have created the clearer path for us today to take full advantage of the benefits that we take for granted without a second thought.

Think back to anyone who has slighted you, caused you angst, anger or lack of self belief. They have been your greatest gift. Be grateful, very grateful. If we are never challenged or taken out of our comfort zone we run the risk of stagnating. You’re too good for that. You need to expand into your light of brilliance and shine, the world needs your glory. Staying within the safety of resentment and anger will serve no-one, least of all you.

However, it is very easy to stay stuck in a blame culture and pass the buck to everyone else for the ‘wrongs’ in your life. Let’s face it, that’s where most people choose to be. But you’re not most people.

I am more grateful for the challenging experiences in my life than I am for the happy ones. I relish the happy and successful moments of course and frequently remember the joy and relive the moment, taking that energy into my future. If I only had happy and carefree moments though, I would stay exactly where I am today and die having not progressed one iota. It’s a choice, I could easily avoid anything negative and surround myself in cotton wool. It’s not a choice I intend to make mind you. Rather I choose to live my life my way, be firmly focussed on my ‘why’ and accept that the road will sometimes be rocky and that not everyone I meet will like me or what I am saying. I also know that what other people think of me is actually none of my business. What I think of myself is.

I am grateful to all the wonderful women who have gone before me, all the amazing women I meet and am surrounded by today and to all the awesome women I have yet to meet. I am also grateful to all the people who put me down in the past, told me I couldn’t do something, ridiculed me, bullied me, and treated me wrongly. Without those experiences I would not have done the things I have in my life and I would have missed out on so many experiences, meeting so many people and achieving what I have a achieved in my life.

When I look in the mirror I like and respect the woman looking back at me and I am grateful to her for her resilience, values and strength. Without past saboteurs that woman would be someone else.

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