Since my last post, I have had questions about how I feel about my parents. I have been touched by your comments and messages and am pleased to hear that I have opened some of you up to thinking about turning the negative into a positive while still having the strength to walk away from any further negative behaviour be it from others or just unhelpful habits you have acquired over the years.
For me there is no question, I love both my parents very much and I do not resent them for their actions or for the situations they put me in. They are who they are, they made choices I will not make with my children, and they lived by a set of rules I do not agree with but I have the advantage of hindsight. If I had been born into their families, with their DNA and their experiences who knows what decisions I would have made and that’s why blame is irrelevant here and why I don’t feel a need to list the actions done against me. Blame works for some people but I think it distracts the majority from moving forward from a position of personal responsibility. Curiosity will outsmart blame every time.
I am not saying that anyone deserves something bad to happen to them but what I am saying is that when confronted with a fearful situation whether it is real or imagined, the one thing it always does is diminish your power. When anything happens outside of our control, we feel less powerful. When we feel powerless, we cannot successfully defeat our fears. Power is important yet we so readily give ours away. Blaming others gives them control over us. We also give our power away to loved ones in relationships whether family or romantic. We allow our bosses to use their position and power to strip ours. We let our peers take power from us rather than earn it. Power is a far more important currency than money but we part with our power, more often than not to a person or situation that is unworthy of it.
Shortly before her passing, my mother took accountability for her part to play in the fear dynamic I grew up around. She didn’t apologise that was not her style but she told me how she would do things differently and gave me some of the best advice straight from her heart. I would not change the mother I had, she to this day is a huge inspiration to me and a great motivator of why I want to help others face their fears. My father is unlikely to ever understand the damage he caused or what he took from myself and those I love but perhaps that is not his lesson. He had positive qualities too, not everything is black and white. My mother asked me to keep a dignified silence until I was 40 about the reality of being the child of a self-professed narcissistic mother and what people have kindly referred to as an erratic and volatile father – much harsher references exist. My mother wanted time for her legacy to continue before I started mine but she knew it had a shelf life. She told me to make sure the impact I created in this world was eternal. Not an easy task, but one I gladly take on in her memory. That’s one of the reasons I took to the stage, as by being an international speaker I can impact more lives in a shorter space of time. Although I understand not everyone can attend my seminars so that is what has spurred me on to write my book.
As a community, we have all been exposed to situations that promote anxiety, depression, sadness, loss, painful memories, hurt, and/or fear. I do not stand alone. I am very pro-women speaking up and the #metoo movement with particular reference to survivors knowing that they are not alone in their journey but I also believe there is more work to be done on finding pathways to not only healing but prevention. It is not just women that experience such behaviour, it is not just sexual violence that occurs. We are not only held back by abuse but by the fear that we experience from others, fearful situations, fearmongering stories we read in the media, fear of missing out worsened by social media, fears of rejection, fears of failure, fears of being unlovable, fears of being unworthy, fears of being left behind, fears of being alone and the exacerbation of all the above by peer beliefs. Fear has many forms, faces and features. It is surmountable. It is not the enemy. It’s just the competition. Are you going to get your dreams or are you going to let fear take them from you?
The choice has and will always be yours, however with a few helpful tools and techniques as laid out in my book, taking fear out of the equation will give you the formula for success every time.