As this past week came to an end, I found myself thinking a lot about Liz Cheney. I found myself thinking about her brave stand and the fear it generated within her party. I also thought about what it takes to make a stand in one’s life and the consequences that inevitably result from such a bold move.
Much was made on the news about the Congresswoman being stripped of her leadership position and her power in Washington D.C. and within her own party. But that’s not what I saw. In fact, I saw the opposite story unfold.
I saw a woman step into her power and step into her leadership. I saw a woman speak her mind. And when she was told that the party was going to come after her in her own state, she said bring it on. There is a lesson here for all of us.
When you take a stand against the so-called powers that be—at work or at home—well, they aren’t going to like it at all. There is going to be pushback. There is going to be pressure. There is going to be intimidation.
People you thought were your friends will coalesce around perceived power. People you thought you could count on to stand with you will be scared and may disappear. Life as you knew it will no longer be the same after you take a stand. There will be a before and after.
Liz Cheney is now in her moment after taking a stand. I, for one, find it inspiring to witness. I have no idea what will happen in her political life, but if I were to bet, I would bet that she is feeling newly invigorated. I would bet that instead of being scared, she’s emboldened. And instead of being fearful, I bet she’s feeling braver than she ever has. That’s what taking a stand does for you that the perceived power brokers don’t see, can’t understand, or misjudge. They think the power is in the office, but the power is actually in the person.
Each and every one of us has so much power within us and yet, fear plays such a big part in our lives. From our earliest age, we are told, “Don’t do this. Don’t touch that. Don’t speak like that. Don’t dress like that.” We are told, “If you do that, you will make people mad. You will rock the boat.” Then, before we know it, we are scared and fearful people who are living anything but brave, authentic lives.
The truth is, you have to be brave to live your own authentic life. You have to be brave to chart your own course. You have to be brave to stand up for yourself and against what you believe is wrong. I don’t know if Liz Cheney was scared when she gave her speech, but if she was, that would be human. The fact that she gave it anyway is courageous.
“Our freedom,” she said, “only survives if we protect it... We must speak the truth, our election was not stolen, and America has not failed.”
America will only fail if we all allow it to. Our democracy will crumble if we allow it to. The truth will give way to big lies when we don’t push back against them. At different times in our lives each of us is asked to push past our fear and be brave. Each of us is asked to muster up our courage on behalf of others, on behalf of ourselves, and on behalf of our country.
When that moment presents itself, in your life (and it will) take a deep breath, dig down, dig in and always, always choose your own truth over the fancy job, the big title, or the perceived power. When you do, you will find something deep inside you. It might be something you never knew existed, but if you don’t choose your truth, you will never know what difference you could’ve made in your life, the life of another, or in the life of your country.
That’s one regret Liz Cheney will not have to face. This week, she set an example. She gave us all something to think about.
PRAYER OF THE WEEK
Dear God, may I never fall victim to the perceived power of anyone who tries to intimidate me or question my truth. May I step into my own power and use it to make a difference in my life and the life of others. Amen.
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