Some of us got a rough start – didn’t we?
Here’s how to handle some of that stuff
My father came to this county when he was around six. His parents fled in the middle of the night from a country they loved, to a new one they did not know.
My grandfather became a farmer because that was the condition for how he was to gain safe and legal entry to this new land. He managed to do quite well – even though it wasn’t his skillset or his dream. He had a young wife and a young son and they were dropped in the middle of nowhere – without friends or family – and none of them spoke the language.
There’s not a whole lot my father talks about from his childhood – but I know every time his father got angry - it was my dad who got the brunt – and he was often left behind the barn unconscious and beaten – only to be retrieved by his mother - when the sun went down and it was safe for her to bring him into the house.
I know my dad was a creative, sensitive, a dreamer. Most of my memories are of him trying to make a “success” of himself – maybe the result of clearly never being able to please his father. He was a pretty absent dad and not easy to please – but to his credit – he never laid a hand on his kids in anger or frustration – even though he could have easily repeated his fathers behavior.
My mother was the oldest of 7 - and her mother “checked-out” when her youngest was born. My grandmother struggled with what they thought was mental illness – but later I would learn was just a profound disconnection and unhappiness with the life she had been obligated to participate in – and by that, I mean marriage and children.
So that disconnected mother gave my mother her own children to raise. And my mom’s memories of her kidhood were - changing diapers, feeding and caring for 6 siblings.
Add to that – she just wanted to play! The boys got to horse around with baseball and skating and every time she tried to jump in – my grandfather would say it was inappropriate for girls to do such things.
She wasn’t the nurturing kind of mom some of you may have had, but she kept us safe and well fed – and is likely why I associate good food with love.
And so, two kids who had never had their own needs met – married after 4 weeks of formal dating (which simply means visiting in a living room together with the whole family around you) and together they started a family of their own.
Alright – I’m assuming you’ve been with me for a bit - so you know if we haven’t done our “work” to grow ourselves up – we walk around the world like we’re still around 7 years old. Everything that happens is filtered through that immature ego who just wants everything to be exactly the same as it’s used to or for all of those longings they had as kids to finally be met. If you’re feeling a bit lost at this point listen to podcast #5.
So, neither of my parents had the skill set to be what the other needed them to be – so they floundered from moment one. Neither of them did anything to change that – so it wasn’t fun for any of us kids. But they lasted fifty years – ‘cuz that’s just what you did back then.
My dad chose to never be home – and my mother, by the time I came around had nothing left to give – so I felt like I raised myself. There were some benefits to that – to be sure – but a good cuddle now and again would have been nice as well.
Long story short – it all turned out well for me in the end – and we’ll get to the HOW and WHY of that in a bit.
Unless you’re really lucky – you come from generations of ancestors who never got what they needed and never did the work to grow themselves up – so they never got to stand in their authentic power.
It’s a bit of a miracle if you got parents who had their sh!t together – and if you had that – count your lucky stars – because that’s amazing and I’m truly happy for you.
Now - it’s not like my kidhood was awful – my parents did what was expected – my father did his best to provide, and my mother did her best to make a home and keep us safe and fed – but we all know - we all need more than that.
Through all of my twenties I ranted and railed against the injustice of it all. I kept wanting my childhood to be different. “If only” this… and “if only” that…
After all - my problems were a direct result of my parentage – none of it was about me – right?
When I finally realized that they were doing the best they could with the tools they had – I was able to let them off the hook and I could get back to the whole reason I came to the planet - and that was to do MY work to uncover who I came to be.
So that’s what I did – and my life took off in a really good way.
When I was in my late forties my mom had a stroke which affected her short-term memory and added a bit of dementia. Through an unexpected set of synchronicities, I chose to take her home. But instead of having the distant mom I grew up with – she was now – the little girl she came into the world to be – she was joyful and happy – filled with wonder - and she would light up whenever Kali or I walked into the room. For six months I got to see this joyful creature be who she came to be – no judgement or conditioning – just love! Then she was gone.
Living as if something could be said or done to change what happened in the past is such an act in futility. I cannot tell you how much freedom there is in accepting the fact that your parents and caregivers - are all a part of why you are the way you are. That goes for the stuff you think is terrible and bad all the way to the things you think are wonderful and good and everything in between. I believe we chose the exact place we landed – because of the tools we needed to acquire for this round in our experience – and how you grew up is a part of that process.
We can get caught in regret or blame - or we can recognize our caregivers and influencers had limitations and ensure that we do our work – so the buck stops with us.
As you look around right now at many of the world leaders – the rise of nationalism and so much Them and Us everywhere you turn – can you not see every one of them as these lost little 7 years old’s – with way too much power and responsibility on their hands? Just scared little kids – trying desperately to be noticed and validated. And they are being followed by lost more little 7 year old’s trying desperately to fit in and belong.
Goodness – imagine humans doing their work and then from that grown-assed woke state – raising others or expecting others to do the same. We can change our world in such a significant way - and it begins with you and me.
You might think this is just personal work – but imagine more and more of us living from a state of connection and purpose. Well – that’s my dream anyway and I’d like our end goal to be world peace. Cuz if you’re going to dream – make it good!
What I’m wanting you to get here – is that there are so many people using their past as an excuse to fail or flounder – when you could just as easily CHOOSE to use those experiences to propel you forward.
Staying in a state of wishing the past could be changed – is an act in futility. Name one thing that has happened to you that you can change. Just one thing. But how much time and energy have you spent dreaming about going back in time and changing what you’ve said or done – or what someone else said or did?
Making peace with it – offers you strength and power MOVE ON - and gives you the energy to create the life you came to live.
Kali so eloquently says – if you’re an “#%*&#” at 3 – it’s your parents – but if you’re an “#%*&#” at 33 that’s on you. Yes – I know – she could be a poet and maybe she was one in a past life. But the sentiment is true. We can’t keep blaming something that happened way back when - on why we’re still stuck today.
For many the benefit of holding on to the pain is that they have an excuse to NOT move on.
Have you ever met someone who can’t form a healthy relationship because their parent or caregiver was an alcoholic or distant – or unloving – or critical – or not exactly what they needed them to be. They’re now thirty-seven and still either avoiding relationships at all costs - or finding themselves with people who bring out all of those childhood feelings – you know – our ego assumes familiar equals safe – and the cycle of disconnection continues.
Or someone constantly struggles at work or with making money and they’re still blaming their childhood instruction for all that’s wrong in their life now – I didn’t learn the skills when I was young – therefore I’m stuck with whatever I learned to believe.
And that’s one of the biggest lies going! That’s why so many people simply DRIFT through their life – taking what they can get – and settling. Funny how following traditional expectations of getting a job, getting married and having kids is often called settling down. We’ve been conditioned through generations to lower our expectations in all sorts of places. Where have you lowered your expectations?
Look – I did this for years and years and years – and stuff can still show up - now and again - where I’m using old sh!t as an excuse to not move forward on something. Although I didn’t follow a traditional path of marriage and kids – I still drifted - none-the-less. And I did that by shutting my ears every time my intuition tried to whisper in my ear that I am meant for more.
Now - this is not an inditement of any kind – if you’re recognizing that you’ve been stuck or drifting - it’s just a call to notice when you’re doing it – and declaring that you’re a grown-assed woman - and you can learn to do things differently, you can become different and expect different of both yourself and others.
But man – what if you can’t let go?
Indulge me in another story, okay?
Kali and I used to live in the country. The property came with a whole bunch of outbuildings. They had a purpose at one time but we just wanted the yard to be clean and tidy – so we slowly began the process of tearing them down. We repurposed the brittle barn wood where we could and burned the rest.
All in all - we took down seventeen - old buildings that had once served the previous owners well – but they didn’t serve us.
There was one building however, that we were reluctant to see go. It housed the electrical supply for the pump house, which was the only way to get water to the house and to the horse barn. And it was in good enough shape to retain as a garage.
Quite a few years back now, a surprise storm came through our area. The accompanying 100 km winds blew through the yard and started to lift a corner of the garage off its foundation. We quickly put on our jackets and headed out to see what we could do. First, we parked the car in a safer place, and second, tried to come up with some sort of plan to keep the structure from taking off.
As we stood in a bit of a daze, we were aware of how many times we had thought to move the electrical panel to the power pole next to the garage. It would have been an infinitely more stable spot for such an important service. Yet, as with so many messages, we just let other things take priority.
Now we ran the risk of having the electrical wiring ripped haphazardly from the panel - leaving us with no water, no power and no heat, never mind the danger of having a live wire swinging precariously above the tall grasses and very dry wood.
That day, we did all we could think of to make the area safe. To secure the building, we ended up attaching a very heavy-duty winching strap from the rafters of the structure to the body of our big old truck. For about two hours the strap held but as the gusts of wind swelled and dissipated and then swelled again, the strap began to stretch and sag. It required several adjustments over the course of the storm to ensure that everything held tight. We stood at the window of our porch waiting for the next cue that we needed to run out and tighten the strap again.
In one of those adjustment periods, the wind picked up, the strap snapped, and the garage lifted right off its foundation, jumped back six feet, then shifted to the left, and finally collapsed in a jumble of twisted wood and metal. The heavy electrical wire had been torn right out of the panel and swung dangerously above our heads spewing big sparks in the powerful wind.
Kali ran across the yard to shut off the main power supply to dissipate the immediate danger and came back to where I was standing. In that moment, with the wind still raging and the “good enough” garage lying in a heap, we realized that we were hanging on to something that no longer served us. The truth of it was the worst part was the hanging on. Once it was gone. It felt like a relief! Within minutes, we had a solution for how we were going to manage without water until the electrical could be rerouted. We also immediately appreciated the new view of the barn without the obstruction of the garage.
Everything in life is a symbol. Every person and every situation, offers an opportunity to learn something about ourselves. So, I processed the experience during the storm and found myself wondering where else I was hanging onto something that was no longer serving me? Where else was I holding on to something that was only “good enough”?
It’s true, I’ve gotten rid of all kinds of things in my pursuit to know myself more deeply - but was there a reoccurring thought, habit, tendency, wound or excuse that I kept around, simply because I was too nervous or afraid to let it go? Would I be less inclined to hang on to it if I realized there could be more room in my life for something else? Something that would serve me better. Something more beneficial, more satisfying, more me?
Can you think of anything you’re still holding onto right now that is keeping you from uncovering your Authentic Power? Can you see what memory you’re using as a Power Leak? Where are you settling for Good Enough?
If your hands are full of what you don’t want and you see something better, what do you need to do? Is it possible to grasp something better without letting go of what you’re holding on to? I know we’re messing with some big stuff here and it’s going to require courage, tenacity and a desire to follow through. Good. You’re worth it!
Always keep your eye on the prize! This is a process of deliberately choosing. Constantly listening to your inner voice and your outer voice for clues on old shit that’s still hanging on.
Sometimes, that just requires a little tweaking and sometimes it requires hiring a moving truck to haul your sh!t to the dump. I’ll tell you this though, the more you’re willing to get rid of the stuff that you’ve been using as an excuse for where you currently are – the quicker you can get to creating the life you came to live.
Your intuition wants to talk to you and guide you and you may have old stories mulling around in your mind that drown out her voice.
I’m not strong enough, or smart enough or lucky enough.
- No one ever showed me how.
- It’s too late and it sounds too hard.
- I’ve tried but it didn’t go well – so I quit.
- It’s just easier to drift – so I’ll just take what I can get.
- My life is good-enough – I don’t really need anything more.
- I couldn’t make a living or a life following my heart. Or could I?
Letting go of all that old conditioning - means you are freeing yourself up for something more.
What do you think? Are there statements you find yourself saying that are steeped in an old story or an old wound? Is it time to say – I’m a grown-assed woman – and I’d like to take my life back – so fuck that old shit?
Wouldn’t that make a great t-shirt?
Look – this is work – to be sure – but offer yourself grace and a sense of humor every chance you get. You did nothing wrong. And no matter what you learned – you can use it to move you back into alignment with yourself.
Here’s how you can begin the process. Take a good look at your life. You know where you’re telling an old story. If you don’t know it – ask a good friend – she’s been hearing you for years – she’ll help you out!
So, write them down and work through them one by one.
- What do you think that experience took from you – and what did it give you?
- What did it NOT give you and how can you give that to yourself?
- How did it hurt you and how can YOU heal you?
- If you wished it had been different what are you willing to do to redeem it?
Yep, not easy! – but this is what we all must do to be the Queens in our lives. You know, historically in ancient wisdom communities a Queen or King was the holder of wisdom, they were the spiritual leaders and were able to care for, guide and lead those who were their responsibility. Does that scare the shit out of you? – or will your rise to the occasion? Oh – don’t think you have to be on stage in front of a crowd or on a world tour – it could simply mean having a positive influence on those around you by being an example of a woman living in her authentic power.
If all of this sounds impossible this moment – just begin with forgiveness. As hard as this might be to believe - whoever hurt you – hurt you from their pain. It felt personal – but it wasn’t. No connected individual purposefully hurts another being. It doesn’t mean it wasn’t painful – but holding on to something that is NO LONGER HAPPENING is an absolutely WASTE of your time and energy.
Let it go.
Forgive who needs to be forgiven - and get on with building your life.
If you don’t even know where to begin – there is a Polynesian practice that has gained a great deal of attention lately – and it’s called Ho’oponopono
And it goes like this:
Picture the person or the situation that is separating you from You - and simply say these four lines over and over again as a mantra.
Please Forgive Me
I love you!
This is about giving YOU freedom – not them – and you’re talking to your Authentic self here – because you’ve let this experience separate you from your truth.
Please Forgive Me
I love you!
I hope that just feels like a warm bath – a comforting, well deserved rest with a titch of anticipation for what can happen when you truly let go of what’s holding you back. There’s a gift in everything sisters – look for it.