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Posts Tagged ‘http://www.beliefnet.com/’

howyouseeyourself

Today my husband happen to mention how lucky our only daughter s to have a mother like me, it s not some thing he’d say every day. He blurted it out at last because the destiny s such, he had to be stationed for work thousand miles away from us and it s me who have to deal with each day of our daughter life. Most of all he’s thrilled over her good grades, her first ever exams, so proud of her.

As he was pouring his heart out; thoughts crossed my mind over those whom I have met, where I volunteer my service as an adviser, thought about those who had had bad childhood experiences and those who have traveled on paths that brought them destruction. Many stories touched my heart so deeply and as I helped them along I learned there are things which I never thought could exist. More I spoke with them the more I understood the kind of lives many have and the kind of self confidence many of them still have. To come forward and speak out, to talk about what they have gone and go through still, even to open up to a counselor s been a great step for most of them. I’m proud of them too.

I realized it’s more than helping out others; it’s not just doing what I do, I learned certain things about my self too, certain things that I never knew I was capable of doing, my dream was to reach out needy children and young adults. I wanted to join a place like UN and commit my self to it. But I never realized I’m already doing just what I dreamt of doing, reaching out the needy and helping them out the best way I can.

Two such stories touched my heart….

 

05th POST

 

You Become What You Want to Be

‘As a child, I just wanted to be loved. It wasn’t until I grew up that I learned how’

By Marylin Joan – from ‘CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL’

 

 

Growing up the fifth of six children was a challenge, the struggle for placement and acceptance being the usual issues. Personally, I never felt I needed to be heard or seen. Taught to be seen and not heard from the time we were born, when we broke that rule we were punished severely.

I had several strikes against me growing up. I had very little self-esteem, if any. Our mother had a hair-trigger temper and we constantly had to avoid her wrath, learning to fear and not thrive as children. Even when we weren’t in trouble, we felt like we had done something wrong. Talking about love or sex in our house was totally taboo. Our home lacked warmth and my fears of incurring my mother’s anger outweighed my desire to talk to her about very important things that should have been dealt with as a child, not as an adult.

My childhood was short. I always say I graduated from the school of hard knocks, and meant it. I was molested between the ages of ten and thirteen by four different family friends and a family member. I was an alcoholic by the time I was fourteen and a frequent user of drugs when I wasn’t drunk.

I was not popular in school, my grades were not great and the only thing I excelled at was spelling, which would not carry me far. My mom planted the seeds and watered them daily, telling me I wasn’t smart enough or good enough to reach the goals I set for myself in life. I wanted to be a teacher, a stewardess or a nurse. At one time, I had many, many dreams. Not one of them was something my mother encouraged or thought I could accomplish.

I made mistakes, too many to mention and some so humiliating that I cringe inside today as I recall them. The drugs, the alcohol and the self-destructive path I was on were not things I was proud of. I wanted so desperately to change, but I had no idea how. I just wasn’t good enough to succeed at anything. The only positive thing left was my desire to try.

I started dating a guy when I was thirteen, falling hopelessly in love with him. True to form, my mother told me I would never do better and on my sixteenth birthday we were engaged. We moved in together after high school and married at nineteen. We had two beautiful kids together, and that was the turning point in my life. Being a good mother was something I could accomplish.

Marrying so young was wrong, we both knew it. We were drawn to each other for all the wrong reasons. It was bad for him, it was bad for me, it was bad for the children, so I started my road to recovery by divorcing him. We never harbored any hate or animosity for each other and frankly I liked him better once we lived apart. He became a better father and a better person and I too became a better human being.

I began to reinvent and get reacquainted with myself. I faced my problems with the help of psychologists and social workers, who taught me healthy parenting and life skills. With their help and encouragement I learned to talk with my kids and to value them for who they were. I am able to guide them toward realizing their full potential through encouragement and emotional support. And, I have stayed clean and sober.

During therapy I remembered the sexual abuse and came forward to have the man arrested and charged with his crimes. I felt wonderful, vindicated and strong when he was convicted twenty years later for the crimes he committed against me.

I look back with 20/20 hindsight and wonder why my educators never picked up on my abuse. The signs were there, I read it in my report cards. About a sullen little girl, who sulks and wants to be the center of attention, and cries. No, I don’t want to be the center of attention. I just want to be loved. Can’t you see that! I remember all the incidents as if they were yesterday and have worked hard to move beyond feeling like a victim.

Today I feel lucky. I have a wonderful husband, two more great kids and a home in the country, a life far beyond the dreams of a kid being drowned in the toilet. I have never beaten my children or belittled them. I overcame great odds, faced the loathing and shame, and grieved for the loss of my childhood so that the cycle stopped with me. In its place a life centered on love and nurturing has taken root and I am careful to plant more seeds and water them daily.

Finding My Wings

‘A woman with heavy baggage learns it’s never too late to develop self-esteem’

By Sue Augustine

 

Like so many other girls, my self-confidence growing up was almost nonexistent. I doubted my abilities, had little faith in my potential and questioned my personal worth. If I achieved good grades, I believed that I was just lucky. Although I made friends easily, I worried that once they got to know me, the friendships wouldn’t last. And when things went well, I thought I was just in the right place at the right time. I even rejected praise and compliments.

The choices I made reflected my self-image. While in my teens, I attracted a man with the same low self-esteem. In spite of his violent temper and an extremely rocky dating relationship, I decided to marry him. I still remember my dad whispering to me before walking me down the aisle, “It’s not too late, Sue. You can change your mind.” My family knew what a terrible mistake I was making. Within weeks, I knew it, too.

The physical abuse lasted for several years. I survived serious injuries, was covered with bruises much of the time and had to be hospitalized on numerous occasions. Life became a blur of police sirens, doctors’ reports and family court appearances. Yet I continued to go back to the relationship, hoping that things would somehow improve.

After we had our two little girls, there were times when all that got me through the night was having those chubby little arms wrapped around my neck, pudgy cheeks pressed up against mine and precious toddler voices saying, “It’s all right, Mommy. Everything will be okay.” But I knew that it wasn’t going to be okay. I had to make changes–if not for myself, to protect my little girls.

Then something gave me the courage to change. Through work, I was able to attend a series of professional development seminars. In one, a presenter talked about turning dreams into realities. That was hard for me – even to dream about a better future. But something in the message made me listen.

She asked us to consider two powerful questions: “If you could be, do, or have anything in the world, and you knew it would be impossible to fail, what would you choose? And if you could create your ideal life, what would you dare to dream?” In that moment, my life began to change. I began to dream.

I imagined having the courage to move the children into an apartment of our own and start over. I pictured a better life for the girls and me. I dreamed about being an international motivational speaker so that I could inspire people the way the seminar leader had inspired me. I saw myself writing my story to encourage others.

So I went on to create a clear visual picture of my new success. I envisioned myself wearing a red business suit, carrying a leather briefcase and getting on an airplane. This was quite a stretch for me, since at the time I couldn’t even afford a suit.

Yet I knew that if I was going to dream, it was important to fill in the details for my five senses. So I went to the leather store and modeled a briefcase in front of the mirror. How would it look and feel? What does leather smell like? I tried on some red suits and even found a picture of a woman in a red suit, carrying a briefcase and getting on a plane. I hung the picture up where I could see it every day. It helped to keep the dream alive.

And soon the changes began. I moved with the children to a small apartment. On only $98 a week, we ate a lot of peanut butter and drove an old jalopy. But for the first time, we felt free and safe. I worked hard at my sales career, all the time focusing on my “impossible dream.”

Then one day I answered the phone, and the voice on the other end asked me to speak at the company’s upcoming annual conference. I accepted, and my speech was a success. This led to a series of promotions, eventually to national sales trainer. I went on to develop my own speaking company and have traveled to many countries around the world. My “impossible dream” has become a reality.

I believe that all success begins with spreading your W.I.N.G.S.–believing in your worth, trusting your insight, nurturing yourself, having a goal and devising a personal strategy. And then, even impossible dreams become real.

Believe in you….

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