Ginger Leigh Davies: “I think life is too short to allow people who willingly hurt us in our life”

One of the big things to remember is that holding onto something that should be set free is not healthy. Someone hurt you, acknowledge the hurt and let it go. Holding onto that hurt is not healthy for you. This isn’t to say that you should let people hurt you, definitely be brave enough to […]

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One of the big things to remember is that holding onto something that should be set free is not healthy. Someone hurt you, acknowledge the hurt and let it go. Holding onto that hurt is not healthy for you. This isn’t to say that you should let people hurt you, definitely be brave enough to stand up and tell them. If they are true friends they will understand, if not let them go. I think life is too short to allow people who willingly hurt us in our life.

As a part of my series about “How To Learn To Finally Love Yourself” I had the pleasure to interview Ginger Leigh Davies. Ginger grew up as a military brat with all the chaos and turmoil that comes from constantly moving around the world. As an adult, she’s dabbled in many different careers from accounting, marketing, software & hardware engineering. She suffered a traumatic brain injury that left her comatose for months and left her without much of her learned coping mechanisms to deal with emotional distress.

Thank you so much for joining us! I’d love to begin by asking you to give us the backstory as to what brought you to this specific career path.

My current career path is a journey and labour of love. I’ve always had an affinity for animals but focused much of my career chasing the most lucrative job opportunities. After the motorcycle accident stripped much of my life to shreds, I had to find a way to put it all back together, what a better way than to going back to my first love and forging a new path.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you hope that they might help people along their path to self-understanding or a better sense of wellbeing in their relationships?

Currently I am working on launching my own brand of custom dog nutrition. Come walk with me on the WildeSide where I design canine diets specifically tailored to each dog’s individual needs, working in conjunction with each owner and their veterinarian. The food is all hand prepared with the option of adding herbs to address health concerns in the most natural way possible. The food is all natural, locally and ethically sourced here in Cornwall. I feel like we, since the industrial revolution, have drifted further and further away from the bounty of the nature around us. We look to treat symptoms often to the detriment of other aspects of our health. A holistic approach to good health I try to embrace in my life is key to this endeavour.

Do you have a personal story that you can share with our readers about your struggles or successes along your journey of self-understanding and self-love? Was there ever a tipping point that triggered a change regarding your feelings of self acceptance?

Moving every couple of years as a child, I learned how to be a fantastic mimic learning to fit in where every my father was stationed next. If I didn’t look, sound or act different people would accept me. Unfortunately that coping skill carried over into adulthood preventing me from realizing that I wasn’t even sure who I was outside of the expectations others had of me. In one aspect, the accident that upended my life was a blessing as it stripped me of this behaviour to some extent. I learned how to tell people exactly what I was thinking without trying to make it socially acceptable for fear of rejection. Sometimes this new found bluntness shocked others or drove them away but I really feel like this reset allowed me to examine myself and my actions over time and learn to accept my truth.

According to a recent study cited in Cosmopolitan, in the US, only about 28 percent of men and 26 percent of women are “very satisfied with their appearance.” Could you talk about what some of the causes might be, as well as the consequences?

Much of it is the media, between tv stars, divas and runways we are all fed what is the “ideal” figure which most of us will never have. There is a difference between a healthy weight and what is considered acceptable for public media and it’s not a good one. I think the focus on appearance is superficial and people need to see beyond the physical to enjoy the other person’s soul.

As cheesy as it might sound to truly understand and “love yourself,” can you share with our readers a few reasons why it’s so important?

I know this may sound weird to some but if we don’t truly love and accept ourself we are more likely to let others treat us in ways that are detrimental or demeaning because you get in this twisted mindset that you somehow are only good enough to expect such treatment from others.

Why do you think people stay in mediocre relationships? What advice would you give to our readers regarding this?

Much like my previous answer, we accept the love we think we deserve. Love yourself enough to not accept being in a mediocre relationship. You’re beautiful and have every right to expect to be someone’s everything. Their moon and stars….

When I talk about self-love and understanding I don’t necessarily mean blindly loving and accepting ourselves the way we are. Many times self-understanding requires us to reflect and ask ourselves the tough questions, to realize perhaps where we need to make changes in ourselves to be better not only for ourselves but our relationships. What are some of those tough questions that will cut through the safe space of comfort we like to maintain, that our readers might want to ask themselves? Can you share an example of a time that you had to reflect and realize how you needed to make changes?

One of the questions that came up time after time for me was “why did that person think it was okay to treat me that way?” At one point in time I became a master at avoiding that question because I so desperately wanted someone to love me but I finally discovered the one person who needed to love me was me. People treat us the way we allow them to treat us, love yourself enough to expect to be treated well. Accept no less!

In 2013, I was diagnosed with cancer and was told I needed chemotherapy. I was terrified. I’d lost my mother five years earlier to metastatic cancer. When I asked my husband if he would go to my first treatment with me, I was surprised to hear his response… “No, why would I do that? It would be a waste of my time that’s better spent at the office.” To say I was gutted would be an understatement, but I simply said “oh, okay.” It’s not that he didn’t love me but rather was able to so completely emotionally isolate himself from me that it was frightening. It was the main reason I ended up divorcing him a few years later. I was NOT okay with being emotionally distant from my partner. He and I still maintain a wonderful friendship but I made the decision that I wouldn’t accept that role in life.

So many don’t really know how to be alone, or are afraid of it. How important is it for us to have, and practice, that capacity to truly be with ourselves and be alone (literally or metaphorically)?

I have always enjoyed time by myself. As a poet, it is often when I write my best stuff, as an artist I create magical works while I’m traipsing through the vacant corridors of my mind. Learning how to view yourself from an outside perspective is empowering and when you’re so busy trying to make sure you’re not alone, you’re only avoiding those corridors. Sure sometimes they can be a bit daunting, but once you start down them you will find a kaleidoscope of colorful emotions come together to create the masterpiece that is YOU.

How does achieving a certain level of self-understanding and self-love then affect your ability to connect with and deepen your relationships with others?

When you love yourself enough to say, “Hi this is who I am …” without out feeling the need to apologize for yourself or some aspect of who you are people are inexplicably drawn to that self confidence. More importantly, that self-confidence tends to permeate everything you do including opening up to others. Confidence lets you be more genuine in everything and people can sense and appreciate the genuine person you are today.

In your experience, what should a) individuals and b) society, do to help people better understand themselves and accept themselves?

I’ve spent a lot of years looking back at different crossroads in my life and asking myself why I did something at that time. In retrospect I was able to see the greater picture of how events leading up to those time affected my decisions without me even realising it. For individuals, I support the big WHY? WHY am I doing this? Why are you okay with that? Why can’t this be different? ….etc. For Society, I think the biggest thing we could do is quit focusing on the physical attributes of people and focus on the quality of their personalities. So what if someone is physically attractive, ask yourself what does she offer that’s of benefit to others?

What are 5 strategies that you implement to maintain your connection with and love for yourself, that our readers might learn from? Could you please give a story or example for each?

The biggest part of my writing was sharing an emotional journey for others to come with me from blushing naiveté through darkness and despair and ending up at a point of confident acceptance to share with others. It was the journey I had to make after my motorcycle accident. The accident shattered almost every aspect of a life I thought I loved. Looking back at some of the choices I’d made and behaviors accepted from others I realized I had little love for myself. The hidden gift of the accident was the brain injury that stripped my of a coping mechanism I’d developed as a child to simply “fit in.” Dare to be different, enjoy the uniqueness of YOU. There isn’t anyone else in the world like you!

I enjoy spending time by myself. I often doodle or scribble pictures and poems that express my emotions of the moment and that’s important. To accept and embrace your emotions. They aren’t right or wrong, they just are. Accept them and then place them on a leaf as it floats past your mind and let it go.

One of the big things to remember is that holding onto something that should be set free is not healthy. Someone hurt you, acknowledge the hurt and let it go. Holding onto that hurt is not healthy for you. This isn’t to say that you should let people hurt you, definitely be brave enough to stand up and tell them. If they are true friends they will understand, if not let them go. I think life is too short to allow people who willingly hurt us in our life.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources for self-psychology, intimacy, or relationships? What do you love about each one and how does it resonate with you?

I practice reiki and meditation and have a great relationship with great personal coach and business partner. Most recently I read “Living with a Seal: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet” by Jesse Itzler and “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins both of which I loved. I don’t get to read a lot of books etc these days as I’m in the process of launching my own business after moving to an entirely new country a year ago.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? Maybe we’ll inspire our readers to start it…

In my opinion, since the industrial revolution humanity as a whole has continued to drift further and further away from the wonder of nature and all of its possibilities. Western medicine looks down on the use of homeopathic or holistic approaches to wellness and chooses to focus more on treating symptoms rather than the body as a whole. Health isn’t the absence of sickness, it is the combination of physical, emotional and dietary well being!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that you use to guide yourself by? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life and how our readers might learn to live by it in theirs?

My favorite life lesson quote is from a dear friend, Jesse Itzler.

“I didn’t come this far to only come this far!”

I recited that quote to myself many times a day as I struggled to recover from an accident that every medical opinion said I should not have survived. Get up every morning and keep putting one foot in front of the other to walk your path with your head held high knowing you are amazing!

Another favorite is

Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.”

I don’t know who to credit the quote to but the truth of it as been proven time and again. I wasn’t sure the world would want to read my poetry, the personal pain that’s poured into some of them is almost like a child to me, but here I am now, a published poet. I’m living in my favorite part of the world working on bringing a product to market that I wholeheartedly believe in. I was terrified of submitting my book to print and even more so to upend my life and move to another country — but I wouldn’t trade either experience for the world.

Thank you so much for your time and for your inspiring insights!

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