Many of us have had dreams and ambitions and some of us have actually had the courage to do something about them and try to accomplish them. However, for some reason we may feel that it is not enough or cannot get up the gumption to get the ball rolling due to something internal that is weighing us down. This weight can be caused by a lack of self esteem or a lack of good examples or influences growing up. In the end, we all may have a million different reasons why we have not been able to move forward on our goals. But that will always be the case if we do not get to the root cause which is crippling our ambitions.
I grew up in an abusive environment. Now, I am not unaware of the fact that it could have definitely been worse for me. As an adult I hear about all of these horrible news stories about kids which were sexually abused or tortured by their very own parents not to mention the unspeakable things that happen to the ones who were placed in less than worthy foster homes. However, I did have an abusive and mentally unstable father. My mother was not the most nurturing of individuals and for many years I resented her for allowing my father as well as my brothers to treat me the way they did. I grew up poor and with no money. I remember feeling embarrassed about having to accompany my mom to the food stamp office as a kid because although I was very young at the time, I have always been very aware. The physical, verbal and mental abuse that I endured at the hand of my father left some deep rooted scars which to this day, I continue to work on healing. My lack of self esteem may have come from comments that my father made when he told me that I was so fat I looked like pig and my issues with relationships may have come from the fact that he would also tell me that no man would ever really love me or be with me because I was too fat. My lack of self esteem could have also come from the fact that no matter how well I did in school, he would never give me credit. If I won first place in a writing contest, he would rate the importance of the contest based on the size of trophy which I was awarded. “It must have not been that important if they gave you such a small trophy” he would say. Needless to say, that was devastating. My lack of confidence in my appearance may have come from the moments when I asked my mother if I was pretty when I was a little girl. She would immediately reply that I was not. That I pretty in a different way. What the heck does that mean? In short, all I heard was “no”.
Growing up, I wanted to be many things. But I never had the courage to try. I just began working in retail to help pay the rent and quickly realized that I had a knack for it. However, I did not want to give up on an education or on a professional career. But no matter how hard I tried I could never get moving in the right direction. It wasn’t until I had my daughter that I realized that my past was still controlling my thoughts and actions. My father’s judgement and my mother’s negativity were always in my head guiding my fears and subconscious. This is truly unfortunate especially since both my father and mother were no longer in my life to control my decisions. I had to realize that these negative thoughts and memories were the real reason that I was stuck in a stalled pattern. Instead I used the memory of my father’s negative comments and sneering looks to build a fire in my belly and say “Screw you dad, I will do it and I am effing awesome”. That has been my mantra for the last 15 years. I realized that if it does not uplift you, then let it go. Truth is, that it’s ok to fail. It’s ok to not get it right the first time, most of us don’t. It’s ok to have hiccups in life. It’s ok to not be a perfect size 2. It’s ok to not drive an expensive car. It’s ok to not have a “prestigious” career, whatever that is…..
We do not need to have it all figured out, but before we decide what ambitions we want to follow, we need to do some deep inner work and find out what is truly weighing us down. My history was weighing me down so much so that it created an eating disorder, it made me get into the wrong kind of relationships and settle for men who used me and did not value me. It made me put my education on hold. It made me settle for low end jobs because I did not have the confidence to “go for it”. Although I am not finished with my progress and evolution into the best version of me, I have come a long way and continue to make progress.
So family, I encourage you to do the work. Dig deep and figure out what is it that is truly weighing you down. What is it that makes you feel insecure. I encourage deep thought, journal writing, or even the assistance of a therapist to help you figure it out but if it does not uplift you, let it go. Only then, can you really hone in on your goals and ambitions.
Happy Soul Searching my friends.