“The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.” – Viktor Frankl
There is no doubt that we are having a global experience of uncertainty. However, I am not witnessing a collective response. There are those who are drowning under fear and chaos and those who are choosing to respond with consciously directed thoughts and actions toward the best outcome.
We are all being forced to look at our past actions, that have created our current experience. Our financial security; depth of connection in our relationships; health and even our life’s purpose are in the spotlight. And it got me to thinking how very grateful I am for the resilience that I’ve developed from my previous struggles.
When I Was a Victim
For most of my life, I acted like a victim. I felt like the black sheep; misunderstood and frustrated by my inability to fit in. I was haunted by voices in my head that ridiculed me and repeatedly told me I was useless. Thankfully I was a great actress and was able to hide my truth from others.
My journey from victim to victor started when I ended my marriage. My daughters were 4 & 5 and I’d been suffering with depression since the first was born. I felt trapped by the circumstances I’d created. It was a sudden realisation that my happiness was a choice that gave me the courage to end it.
For the first time, my smile was real
The day my husband moved out, I remember driving down the street and smiling. I touched my mouth and cried, because for the first time in years, the smile matched the way I felt inside. It was the moment that I decided I was going to find out who I really was.
The first step was accepting that whilst I loved my girls, I needed more than that role. I was petrified to tell anyone else that. Who was I to want more for my life? I had to keep reminding myself that my children would create their lives based on how I lived mine and I wanted them to know the world was their oyster.
I took myself back to college, dived in to learning about meditation and angelic healing and got back to the gym. There was something so exciting about creating each day on my terms.
I Did It Again
Then I fell in love with a “bad boy”. Emotionally unattainable, out of bounds but oh so irresistible. Once again I started to self sabotage. I stopped eating, believing if I was thinner he’d want me more. I farmed the kids out the minute he could afford me a couple of hours of his time. I became someone I didn’t recognise and quite honestly, didn’t like.
It was only when he hurt and humiliated me in such a public fashion that I was able to say STOP. I remember clearly telling him, ” I will always love you but I have to love me more”. Whilst it was the hardest thing I ever did, because this man was my soul mate, there was an eery sense of calm from finally knowing that all the thoughts and limitations that had plagued my life were born from not loving myself.
From that moment, I made self love my primary goal. I learned as much as I could about how to take control of my mind and as I did, my reality began to reflect my new sense of self love and appreciation.
I developed a deep belief that I deserved to have the exact life I wanted. That belief was the foundation of the courage I needed, every day, to build my dreams. I learned that I didn’t need to take everything personally and taking action, regardless of not knowing the outcome, was the only way to create clarity and courage.
“We see what we seek” is a something I say to my clients a lot. It reminds them that if we are looking for reasons why we can’t/we’ll fail/get hurt/get judged/never work it out, that’s exactly what we get.
When we truly love ourselves, we demand more from our life experience and from ourselves to make that happen. We install better boundaries, dream bigger and don’t stay down when we fall. We love ourselves enough to seek solutions.
Cha Cha With The Challenge
As one of my mentor’s says, “Honour The Struggle”. When we spend our lives avoiding emotional discomfort, we created a caged life. When we love ourselves to get in the arena (thanks Brene Brown) we focus on developing the skills of resilience and courage so that we can live fully and with passion and purpose.