BECAUSE OF and IN SPITE OF…
Watching “Lockup: Corcoran”, the prison life documentary tv show, I’m regularly reminded by the bad guy du jour that he “wouldn’t have been in his situation” (having abused others, and landing in jail) had he not been abused himself… The crack junkie who proclaims that he was “set up”… The thief states that the girl he shot “deserves” her punishment because she didn’t obey his demands…
I’ve watched the Olympic biathlete twins and the three-sister skiing trio, and have examined Hillary & Bill and George and George. I’ve studied amazingly successful individuals and pondered their roads to lead interesting lives. I’ve worked to examine the path on which people travel to get where they are, when and how… How fortunate that some families of these leaders in their fields dedicated all; that must be the reason they are prosperous.
Again I say: Puh-leease.
I believe that we are who we are BECAUSE OF and IN SPITE OF our past. …AND, much more importantly, it’s up to us what we do with this knowledge about ourselves in order to shape our future.
I am who I am BECAUSE OF my genes, the way I was nurtured – or not, my surroundings as a youth and as an adult, the culture in which I have chosen to participate, what I’ve heard and seen and been through and lived through and enjoyed, hated, participated in and fled from… These things have shaped me, molded me, made me.
AND I am who I am IN SPITE OF my genes, the way I was nurtures – or not, my surroundings as a youth and as an adult, the culture in which I have chosen to participate, what I’ve heard and seen and been through and lived through and enjoyed, hated, participated in and fled from… These things, too, have shaped me, molded me, made me!!
I’ve enjoyed extraordinary highs and unenviable lows. I’ve endured some particularly nasty times in my life. (I didn’t start my journey to empower women (and the people who love and support them) because I’ve had it easy and I’m just resting on my laurels. I’ve been there ~ I’ve loved and lost, been battered and broken, succeeded and have lost all. ‘Life ain’t always no picnic’.) …And I’m also truly grateful on this journey in not knowing all that unfortunately some of you might ~ I haven’t been drugged out of my mind, locked up or sold myself on the streets.
How inspiring that the youth who knows abuse, neglect and poverty grows up to achieve everything and then some… How did his genetic make-up, personal dedication, work, family, abuse, talent, treasure, challenges, mentors and lack thereof collide to set this path for success because of and in spite of his past?
Can the nineteen or forty or sixty-seven year old sitting in jail ever move beyond the victim mentality of her mind to see that yes, it totally freaking sucks that that’s what she’s been through and in spite of it she can still choose to come out on the other side? Or not?
Who are YOU today BECAUSE OF and IN SPITE OF your past?
Are you faithful religiously thanks to your grandmother who dragged you to church every Sunday? Do you keep quiet in a room full of friends, fearing you’ll still never be heard? Do you tremble and duck your head each time your partner moves to brush the hair from your brow? Are you confident you will stop the next threat, embrace the next career change, or step out on the limb to reach your next goal because of and in spite of your past ~ and in search of your future??? How will YOU reach the next, even better YOU?!
Lynn Sherwood-Humphries is passionate about empowering women and the supporters who love them. As the founder of High Caliber Women, she believes in living life with an integrated approach mind, body and attitude. Life can be crazy ~ and we don’t have to be crazy with it…. Live Strong, friends.