23 Sep Fighting for what you believe in
I saw an article in Stylist magazine today for the upcoming Suffragettes film. I’ve never really gone into any depth in my research about the Suffragettes, but considering I began to cry as I read the actors’ interpretations of the movement I thought today should be the day I learnt a little more.
And wow what an incredible bunch of women the Suffragettes were. It took them years to get the vote. The movement started around 1866 with the right to vote for all women over age 21 (the same as men at the time) only happening in 1928. That’s years of pushing, years of being ‘out there’, questioning the status quo, challenging rules, ploughing ahead despite criticism. And women died in the process; Emily Davison, for example, got trampled by a horse in an attempt to promote her opinions about equality. Many others were abused, arrested and were force fed for their cause.
What an example of what our friend Brené Brown calls ‘being in the arena’, showing up, living brave, being seen. How did they maintain their drive? Was it because they felt they had no other option, did they feel called, did they feel ‘on-purpose’ in their mission. I’d love to interview some of the women from back then, I’d love to hear what kept them going. Were they practicing self-reflection and self-care back then to keep them on track?
These women fought for what they believed in. Right now, in 2015, there is still a lot to fight for in the world. When I see this world, and I see there is still poverty, there is still violence and abuse, there is still division and fear I feel like standing up and challenging it, and I know I’m not alone. But I believe from the deepest part of my being that the best way to challenge such things is from a place of support, collaboration, self-love, self-care, and prioritising our wellbeing so we can sustainably stand for what we believe in.
Most often creating big change takes a long time. Inequality, abuse, violence, poverty have all been around for a very long time, and it will take a monumental shift to put an end to any of them. But I believe it’s worth trying. So let’s learn from the Suffragettes, if we are standing up for something we believe in it will most probably take time to evoke real change, we have to be in it for the long haul. In order to stay fighting for what we believe in we must prioritise our self-care. In fact, before we prioritise it we must establish what self-care for us looks like, and then implement it religiously, so that we can keep pushing for the change we want to see.
What are you fighting for? And how do you take care of yourself in the process?
*Image from The Museum of London http://blog.museumoflondon.org.uk/starring-role-suffragette-collection/