Don’t let your struggle become your identity

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struggleI have struggled with the word “Failure” for most of my life. My mother frequently reminded me that I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t try hard enough. If I would just use some of the negative energy for positive things, I might be something.

These are challenging words to overcome. I felt defined by those words. If your mother says them, they must be true. Why would she, of all people, tell me something that wasn’t true?

An emotionally vacant parent, lead to an emotionally empty and abusive husband, which leads to an ugly divorce, which leads to an abusive relationship, which leads to life as a single mom and a desire for more. More me. More happiness, more life, MORE….but what is MORE???

I was so confused…..

Ultimately I had 30 years of degrading internal dialogue or self-talk. NO-ONE was meaner to me than I was.

My faults, shortcomings, and misgivings were regularly highlighted. Seldom did I feel as though I could do anything right, so eventually I gave up trying. But still, I wanted MORE. More meant changing my internal dialogue. The dialogue I had to change was so embedded in me that I felt as though I was learning an entirely new language.

This was a terrible thing to change. When I sat quietly and listened, I could hear that very tiny, very soft voice within myself that said, “You can do this.” This voice was familiar, as I had spent years pushing it away. Convincing ME that I was lying to ME!!!! (Wow, as I write this, I am still a little sad for that girl I was so long ago.)

But with time, that voice grew louder. Every day I got out of bed, fed my kids, and ticked just one thing off my TO Do List, gave the voice more power. Every day, step by step, that voice grew stronger, and so did I.

I have had my setbacks since then, but that’s exactly what they are – setbacks; an opportunity to re-evaluate that last move, a point of growth.

Today, I use my story, my failures, successes, struggles, and achievements to inspire others to do the same.

Today, I have two happy, healthy kids, a supportive, loving husband, and a list of friends that continue to grow. I have an amazing circle of support. I have learned to lean on this circle when those negative thoughts come back, when I’m having a “stuck moment” or when I’m feeling a little less than me.

I have struggled, we all have. I can honestly tell you, that without those struggles, I would not be who I am today. And for that I am grateful!!!


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~Come as you are, become who you want to be…
Andrea

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