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  • Writer's pictureFay Semple

Ballads and Battles

I’ve been thinking a lot about sovereignty lately. Of the ways in which my drive to be free, to have authority over my own life, has shaped my choices over the past fifty-plus years.

And of the ways in which this longing for sovereignty, for freedom, collides with the call for conformity. This survival instinct reminds me constantly it's safer in the flock. If you step outside you'll lose your livelihood, your friends and family... you'll be ostracised as dangerous to the status quo...

It is an uncomfortable and uneasy negotiation. My soul knows with absolute certainty that my work is to be fully myself and to help others be fully themselves. To bring my genius and capacities to bear in shaping a world that draws each of us into full, creative engagement with life. To make my life a journey of joy that embraces and enhances all of us.

My soul knows this.

And then there are that old voices that are born of ancestral trauma who sing to me to stay quiet. It sings tragic ballads of battle, hunger, fatigue and death.

The strength of its voice kept the species alive - when to fight, run away, or die were the only choices. Now that the world around us seems to be regressing to the eat-or-be-eaten world of our ancestors, now that our homes and livelihoods are threatened by economic collapse, by distant wars, megalomaniacal rulers, and the global threat posed by climate change, the old ballads are singing our ears


Except that somewhere in the gentle woeful melodies it's also a chord of resilience and survival, persistence and courage.

Sovereignty comes from knowing that I have the power to choose the qualities I bring to my life. It’s setting clear boundaries, not by putting up walls but by generating a field of love and kindness, of generosity and compassion that governs my inner kingdom. And makes it safe for all its inhabitants. For the old voices too.

How about you? What are the qualities of your inner song today? If the melodies are not what you want them to be, you can change them. You can restore your inner harmonies to their rightful place in the symphony of your kingdom, with love, understanding, kindness, and the sweet honey of compassion.

You’re the sovereign of your life. How will you choose to live today?

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