If You Want to Change Your Life, Change Your Story!
One of the reasons I love being Latina comes in knowing and acknowledging the full and rich diversity that makes me who I am, not just physically but emotionally and spiritually as well. As a Puerto Rican woman, I am a complex and colorful mix of several cultures. I honor and celebrate that cultural richness with pride and joy, but I am also keenly aware that the history of how these cultures came into contact with each other is a story of paradox, tragedy, and love. My Spanish ancestors conquered and virtually extinguished my indigenous ancestors while simultaneously ripping my African ancestors from their own great lands. There is no escaping that all of this is a part of my history and the legacy that was left for so many of us. Sprinkled into this complicated pluralistic society are stories of triumph and love that brought so many of my ancestors together despite racism and against all odds to produce leagues of children like you, and like me.
Part of my journey to well-being and happiness has been taking a path of healing that has helped me come to terms with the legacy my ancestors left behind, in all their glory and in all of their atrocities. To deny any one part of that, the glory or the atrocities, would be to deny who I am and what I come from. And so I do not attempt to deny or condone, nor do I negate or disregard this complex history. Rather, I look to celebrate what is right about all of it. The blend of my ancestors produced a rich, diversified population and culture that has provided me with gifts beyond measure. My African ancestors left me the beating of the drums of salsa and bomba and plena. My Arawak ancestors left me beautifully crafted art. My Spanish ancestors left behind a lyrical angelic language. And while these are just a few examples, neither one of these is more nor less important because they all encompass who I am, who you are – a colorful, joyous, vibrant fusion.
How then, do we as Latinas, in all of our differences, and yet in all of our similarities celebrate not just ourselves individually but each other as a collective, as a grand mix of all that is right in the world? Well I tell you how – we start by speaking our stories and getting past those stories. We create a new story – one that comes from a place of power. This new story has no limitations about who we are and what we can become. This new story helps us move forward, not allowing the past to control our present and future. This new story celebrates us as Latinas and acknowledges our greatness. This new story is part of our Journey to Joy because the absolute truth, Bellas,(beautiful ones) is that no one else’s perceptions of us can hold us back if we don’t allow someone else to write our story for us.
If you want to change your life, change your story. If you’re not getting what you want in some area of your life, it’s because you convinced yourself that you already know the story. The moment you start believing a better story, than the one you’ve been fed or have fed yourself, is the moment that your life starts to change. This new story is one of empowerment and self-love. This new story helps you have everything you want. Queridas, it’s time to change your stories.
Come join me and a community of other divine Latinas as we create new stories.
¡Pa’lante Siempre Hermanas! ¡Con Luz y Paz! Cynthia
(Forward Always Sisters! With Light and Peace!)