Hi everyone it’s Isabella! Today I want to talk about empowerment and what it means to me. My mom and dad speak on how to create empowered children a lot, but personally I do not believe many people understand what it means. This is because I see a lot of children and adults with the mindset of a victim. To be a victim is a choice in your mind. You can be a victim of many things or you can make that choice to stand up for yourself and be a survivor. I chose to be a survivor in life.
My parents taught me that no person is better or worse than any other. Sometimes people make choices in life that lead to prison, to have nothing, and not take responsibility for their actions. Some people drop out of school, have babies as teenagers, and believe there is no future so they never try for better. Some people choose to blame everything wrong in their lives on their disability when it is completely unrelated to it. Life is a choice and they choose to be victims of their circumstances accept responsibility for their choices. That does not make them bad people, but it makes them have a bad attitude and stuck in a cycle where they fail constantly because they do not know any other life.
I guess they never had anyone in their life to encourage them. They did not have somebody around to say you deserve more. They never had someone say to them let me show you a better way. I know that is not true for all these people. I have seen my mom cry for others from church and her work that she could not lead to a better life. She felt like she failed them. When I asked her why people choose to sell drugs that kill people she told me that they didn’t think about the consequences of their actions and only see fast and easy money. I asked her about prostitution and she said they usually come from a long history of abuse. They then continue the cycle of abuse against their own bodies. All because no one explained they are priceless.
I asked my mom how she broke the cycle of being abused her entire life. She told me she did it because she wanted me and my sisters to have a better future. She wanted us to never hear or believe the lies she still fights in her head. My mom made a choice to fight for her kids and herself even though she knew it would be the hardest thing she’d ever done. She did it and I am proof.
My mom taught me that being a woman means owning my sexuality and never being ashamed, but to understand that my body is a temple so choose wisely who I left worship me. Sex is not something to be ashamed of, but is the ultimate expression of love between two people. You do not have sex with a boy so he does not move on. Let him move on because a man worth your time makes time to show you his heart, not cheap words. A man who loves you respects your decision even if it’s to wait because love is sacrifice and compromise. To be empowered is to respect yourself enough to make the decision that is right for only you.
My parents taught me to put my education first and never be in a hurry to grow up too fast. I study hard and my grades show that. I want to go to college so I never have to rely on anyone else to take care of me. God has given me a gift through my art that I want to share with the world. I want to be somebody on my own and have a partner because I love them and not because I need them. Right now I want to finish my homework and hit the skatepark or basketball court with boyfriend and friends. My parents always tell me to follow my dreams, because when you put in the work to be able to do what you love it never feels like work. They taught me that my autism can slow my progress in learning things, but that it is also incapable of stopping me from achieving any dream I commit my mind and heart to. My parents taught me that mistakes are a part of life so I should not beat myself up. Mistakes are obstacles and learning opportunities and I should take the time to learn from every one of them. They taught me that life is based on compromise, but compromise should not include my beliefs and values. That is not compromise. That is giving up part of who I am and I am worth standing up for at all times. I was taught to watch carefully where I step because every path leads to a destination and I have places I want to go in life. My parents taught me to recognize my mistakes and apologize with sincerity and humility. A humble heart is an open one and an open heart is one that is empowered and capable of anything. The most important thing they have taught me is that I can trust them and come to them without fear when I screw up.
To be empowered is to know you can do anything. To be empowered with knowledge is to know the difference between what you can do and what you should do. I have my parents to thank for teaching me both and for teaching me to understand the difference. Thank you for giving me the best start and the confidence to keep going forward.