Keep - to maintain possession of, to protect and nurture
You are your own and the greatest responsibility you have is to protect yourself and nurture yourself. The greatest challenge you have is to maintain possession of yourself. So many are competing for you. So many are seeking to define who you should be. Sometimes we don't give in because the pressure to conform has become so intense. Sometimes, we give in because we love and we want to please.
As women, we usually spend our lives giving to others, bending, twisting into pleasing shapes. We fail to keep possession of our own identity. In the midst of all of the giving, we are inundated with standards of beauty and accomplishment. Magazines tell us how we should look. Feminists tell us how we should work. Systems tell us how we should behave.
I believe that I know all that I need to know. My identity is my own to define. I work at keeping possession of myself by protecting and nurturing myself. Sometimes. Not even most of the time. As a woman of a certain age, I am glaringly aware of the limited time I have left to be my own person.
I am also deeply aware of the interdependence of humans. When I say that I am my own, it doesn't mean that I don't need someone else in my life or that I don't care about others. It simply means that as I make my way in the world, I know who I am. I know my identity, my gifts, my weaknesses. I know my standards of beauty, of accomplishment, of behavior.
This keeping the sacred is beautiful work.