I have been thinking of the word sovereign or specifically living in sovereignty lately and contemplating what that really means. If you look up the word sovereign, “It is borrowed from Old French soverain, which is ultimately derived from the Latin word superānus, meaning ‘above’. It’s a title which can be given to people in various categories. The roles of a sovereign vary from Monarch or head of state to head of municipal government or head of a chivalric order. The word sovereignty is the full-right and power of a governing body over itself, without any interference from outside sources or bodies. ” This is the definition according to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary.

What does that mean in our own lives? Do you have or possess sovereignty over your own life? Another way of thinking of it is called taking full personal responsibility over everything in that is currently in your life.  That includes everything! Yes, everything, even all the horrible, terrible, victim garbage that happened to you. Now I know that is hard to digest, you probably are shaking your head at these words saying to yourself, “How am I responsible for being abused as a child?” Well of course you are not. That is on the abuser. What I mean is right now as an adult, if you are still reacting and living your life, making choices as that same victim, then yes—you are responsible.

You have a choice if you want to remain a victim to all the terrible things that happened to you. You have a choice if you make every decision from a space of victimhood or empowerment. You have a choice in what relationships you allow into your life. If every decision and path you take comes from a place of what others did to you then you are not sovereign over your life. Your path, your heart, your soul, your dreams, and your choices are all coming from a wounded place. You have in fact given your complete power away to others.

Taking complete personal sovereignty takes courage and has a high price. But is it a price worth paying? In my opinion, it is the ultimate price but it yields the ultimate rewards. You no longer can blame your parents, your family, your friends, your circumstances, your enemies, and your lovers. You can no longer blame fate, destiny, society or whatever God you may believe in.  It is very simple yet one of the hardest things to do. Take moment and imagine as you are reading this as you look around your life, you will no longer blame (fill in the blank) for what isn’t working. You know who you blame whether it’s an ex-spouse, your parents, society, or God.  You live in poverty because you parents were poor and they never encouraged you to go after your dreams. “What dreams, you think.” You didn’t have time for dreams when you needed to help feed the family. You failed out of college because a loved one died and you couldn’t handle it all, so you blame God or the Universe or whatever you call it for currently working at a low paying job.

You were given a debilitating diagnosis so you think, “screw it, I am going to get high because I don’t care anymore.” That is your right, you can do that and there is no wrong answer here or blaming. We each handle life’s challenges differently. But what if there is still that little part of you that longs for having a different reality. Do you think your life will shift if you are allowing yourself to be the victim of your circumstances? No one is saying any of this is fair. Life is not fair. Why do bad things happen to good people? But you do have a choice. You can heal. You can regain control of your life and you can gain sovereignty over how you live. You can take complete responsibility for everything that is in your life.

Maybe a situation needed to show up in your life so that you would take an action. Maybe you were supposed to lead the way in helping others. What if you had to suffer early losses so you could counsel young children? What if you had to experience that abusive marriage and survive so you could save other women, men and children? What if your experience losing a parent to cancer was that catalyst for you to go to school and become an oncologist whose goal is it to finally cure this disease?

We all have terrible things happen to us while we are here on this planet. My personal belief is Earth is a school and it is helping us all to grow and evolve. No one said school was easy and it certainly hasn’t been in my life. For a long while I did the blame game. It felt good at first! I didn’t have to take responsibility for my actions, for how I felt, for my life. It was awesome—until it wasn’t. After some time it started to occur to me that I was continuing my own suffering. The experience or incident of what happened was over but yet I was still punishing myself. I had now become my own abuser. There was no power in that. There was no love in that and there was no sovereignty in that. And that realization hurt more than the experience. No one can hurt us more than we hurt ourselves. The self-abuse that we allow after the tragic event just deepens the open wound and it is like pouring acid into an oozing gash. We must find the salve and gently apply it until it heals and scars over. Once we heal that, we recognize it and we honor what it taught us. That scar becomes a place of courage and power. We were on the battlefield and we survived. We have wisdom now where we may not have before. We have expanded our compassion to ourselves and others.

Then we can come from a place of empowerment; a place of sovereignty, where yes terrible things happen but we are responsible for our life and our choices—no one else.  So where would you rather be? Would you rather stay in victimhood and blame, or would you rather take ownership and let go?

I encourage you to look at your life and ask yourself how you feel. Can you see where you have allowed other people or circumstances control your life? Do you want to take your life back? If you are reading this then odds are the answer is yes. So do it. Remember, I said it’s simple but not easy. Find a way. Take a step. Move in a different direction. Ask for help. Put it out to the Universe that you are ready to become empowered and take ownership and sovereignty over your whole life. I promise you the Universe will hear you and meet you on your path to healing. Once you take that first step and you make that declaration, it must be so.