You Can Go Straight, Left or Right. Which Way Will You Go? Only You Get To Decide.

That’s right. You get to decide which way you go in life.

The best part? It doesn’t have to take your 41 years to (finally) get to this realization in your life. And if it did take you that long, or longer, then no worries. It’s happening now!

What’s the deep meaning behind the statement “only you get to decide”? The big WHY is knowing that YOU MATTER.

This is a lesson I’ve been struggling to accept this summer. It’s a message I’ve been listening to for years. Here’s a link to a YouTube video with the speech I’ve been listening to since 2019. It’s Iyanla Vanzant doing her speech entitled “You Matter” appearing on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday show.

Iyanla Vanzant’s speech on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday entitled, “You Matter”

I (truly) needed this message drilled deep into me: THAT I MATTER!

I’ve listened to this episode so many times now that I have started integrating the philosophy that I MATTER into my knowing and being daily. I remind myself in my daily morning pages and evening journal reflections. Sometimes, the message shows up in my art journal entries.



It’s in all caps because I wish I could scream it from the rooftops. But I’m afraid of heights, so that won’t happen.

This is a message I resonate deeply with because I needed to hear it during my life, and it was a lesson I never had embedded in my brain until I first heard this speech. Hearing it changed my life.

The people in my life were “crazy as hell”. My father, my mother, and my grandmother growing up were all crazy. My in-laws and my husband-“crazy as hell”. I walked through my life not knowing that I mattered. From that stemmed me not feeling in control of my life or knowing that I could make my own decisions.

I lived my life for other people and “did what they wanted me to do to keep them safe.”

That’s not a way to live. “NOPE.”

I needed to learn “to stand in my no and for my yes.” I needed to learn “to draw my line in the sand and not back up on my line.” I needed to learn “to stand in my no and stand for my yes. YESSSSS!”

So, here’s my art journal entry for today.

While it may sound crazy to you that my family of origin and the family I married into never supported me and treated me like a piece of crap that they could kick around and attack, then you’d be wrong. But maybe you’ve had a similar experience.

Maybe you’ve felt so low that life wasn’t worth living because you couldn’t believe that life could look another way. In other words, “You didn’t know that you mattered.”

“What I want you to know today is that you matter. Even your mistakes matter. And your difficulties matter. It’s all in the way that you look at them.”

That’s where my art journal entry comes into play and intertwines with Iyanla Vanzant’s speech, “You Matter” intersect.

I wrote in my morning pages this morning that I hadn’t been living my life for me. I wasn’t making my own decisions. I was people pleasing and allowing other people to make decisions for me because “for a very long time I didn’t know that I mattered.” 

So, my photo of my art journal page reads, “You can go straight, left or right. Only you get to decide.” “You Matter”. And, “YES, GIRL!” In the center of the three diverging paths it says, “Which way will you go? Did you know you matter? Only you know. You decide for you.”

Before you can make decisions for yourself, you need to recognize that you could be living your life for someone else and not yourself and you also need to realize that you matter. This is key to getting UNSTUCK in your life. It’s the key to making your own decisions in your life. It’s the key to self-love, self-respect, self-dignity and self-worth. 

This is a lesson I learned in ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families) as well. It’s not quite broadcast the same way, but the basis of the message is there in ACA just like it is in Iyanla’s stories she tells which are both funny, relatable to me and also sad when I stop and consider them. I’ve been that woman-the woman at the store with no bra on or high-water sweat pants. I walked around not thinking or believing that I mattered. 41 years of walking around like that. It took me so long to realize that I mattered to myself. That’s a darn-long-time to be walking around being told that you don’t matter. No wonder it was such a hard lesson for me to learn. It’s also why I have to keep reminding myself daily and “moment by moment” that I matter. 

Going forward, I get to make my own decisions for my life FOR MYSELF. Not my mother, my grandmother, my father, my husband or my in-laws. NO!

I decide for me because I know I matter, and I know I’m in the driver’s seat of my life. It wasn’t until I knew I mattered that I could see that I wasn’t living my life for me. I was living my life “for other people and doing what they needed me to do to keep them safe.” 


Have a great day!