Life By Design … or Destruction?
I’m not sure if I was born with the inmate ability to destroy things, but I don’t remember a time when I didn’t think there was something wrong with me. I always thought I was wrong, always. It was my default setting.
I remember as a child being told I was too quiet. I needed to speak up and speak out. Don’t stand that way, stand this way. Say it this way, not that way. You’re not smart enough, you’re too smart.
Always too much of something and not enough of others.
The comments on my height were (and are) relentless. Then came the boobs and the unwanted attention from men. Grown men. 40 year old men, despite the fact that I was a child.
I went to leadership classes, then I was told I talked too much. I was too opinionated.
My body was a war zone. Everyone from my grandmother to aunts and uncles and seemingly everyone in between had a comment on how fat or skinny I was. Skinny was good, fat was bad. Stretch marks? Gasp! I stopped wearing shorts at 11 because of my “thunder thighs”.
There was always something wrong with me. Everyone said so.
Eventually it became my truth. If someone complimented me I wondered if they wanted something – especially men – they usually had ulterior motives. Or if they were just being mean. It wasn’t my first experience with “mean girls” who pretended to befriend you and then make fun of you behind your back after they set you up for something.
I learned to withdraw and be suspicious of everyone.
Sometimes I wonder if that meanness followed some of those people? I was a naive person, still am at times. Seeing the best in people and blindsided when they did me wrong. Instead of learning to discern the difference between people, I became withdrawn. I used men before they could use me. I held back in friendships and never let anyone know anything more than I wanted them to know, so they couldn’t use it against me.
It was self protection, at first. It helped me survive in situations that I wouldn’t have otherwise survived. But like all unhealthy coping skills, it eventually backfired and I became isolated. I couldn’t tell the difference between the good ones and the bad ones.
I made a lot of wrong choices, trusting the ones I shouldn’t have and turning away from the ones who would be on my side. The interesting thing is I had this amazing gift of intuition which often told me the good, the bad, the ugly. But I had learned to stop listening to it.
I was walled up, closed off and isolated from the world, where nothing could reach me. Defence mechanisms and self protection were the mortar holding my bricks together. Lack of trust were the hinges on my doors, bitterness was the water in the moat and fear hung the curtains in the windows.
Instead of using my intuition to discern, I turned away from it. I listened to those who told me I was wrong about people, give them a chance. I became disconnected from myself, who I was and what I really needed and wanted in life.
I stopped believing in rainbows and magic and even more importantly – fun and laughter and happiness and love. Love was a figment of the imagination, of the stupid girl who was brainwashed and wore rose coloured glasses. I wouldn’t be “her”. Ever.
Not being “her” ever, meant being jaded. Not believing meant not seeing or feeling. I was designing a life exactly what I believed in – people hurt you, people are unreliable, I am not enough and will never be enough. Subconsciously of course. But those were common themes in my life.
I was designing a life by destruction.
The good things wouldn’t last, love was a myth, work hard and let nothing hold you back, do for yourself because no one else will do for you. We get what we focus on in life. We have a way of aligning with the things we believe in. If I get up everyday and think about how fat I am, will I care about that donut at 10AM? Fuck no. Give it to me. I’m fat anyways, what’s one more? I’ll start tomorrow -> because I’m still trying to be “enough”.
But if I wake up and think about how healthy I am, how much energy I have, the exciting thing I will do that require a healthy, fit body, will I eat the donut? No, it’s not in alignment of the image I hold of myself, even if my body is still growing into that image.
My deepest belief was that I wasn’t good enough. And that I would never be enough. Yet, I struggled to always find the way to be enough. If I could earn enough, maybe. If I could be thin enough, maybe. If I could be successful enough, maybe.
But none of those things were the truth. Because no matter what I achieved it would never be enough. I couldn’t enjoy any of it, always moving to the next thing because getting what I wanted didn’t bring me what I thought it would.
Being thin enough didn’t get the feelings I hoped they would. It didn’t get me the love I desperately wanted but was too jaded and scared to reach for. Making money didn’t get me the love and attention I was craving. All of the achievements only left me feeling even more lonely as I didn’t really have anyone to celebrate with.
I was designed my own destruction. And I didn’t know it. Subconscious patterns, behaviours and thought processes, unfelt and unhealed feelings, emotions and trauma’s kept me locked up in the beautiful “home” I’d built for myself, hoping that it would all give me what I sought.
It wasn’t until I destroyed or nearly destroyed it all that I understood what I sought required me to be authentically me.
And that was the most terrifying thing of all – because I wasn’t enough. I was too short, too loud, too fat, too thin, too driven, too motivated… not fun enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough.
The answers were in the limiting beliefs I had about myself. Because what other people said, thought or believed about me only mattered if I also believed it. I had to face all of those belief systems, all of the cruel and hurtful moments in my life, both in the ways others treated me, the ways I treated myself and the ways I treated others. I had to feel what I had not allowed myself to feel, process with the relentless purpose of finding what I had long ago buried – myself.
I created a new life by design.
And this one required me to open up to the possibly of love, to the possibly of true friendship, to the knowledge that success without fulfillment was failure and that true success was having someone to share it all with, that living really is giving, that my soul purpose in this life is about connecting to and helping other people find,accept, then be themselves.
This new life required me to search for every block I had to the life I really wanted. It required me to be vulnerable enough to admit what I really wanted, to take massive leaps of faith and have courage to step into what I couldn’t see, and feel what I knew to be true with no explanations other than divine guidance.
And it requires this of me everyday – to open when I want to close. To lean in when I want to run away. To love even when I’m hurt. To make time for laughter, fun, music, family and friends when I want to withdraw.
This did not and does not come easily. This isn’t the “easy” choice. It gets easier and it gets more natural. Periods of time will go by where I forget that I don’t trust people. Or something happens to startle me into wanting to run and hide. But I don’t. My default setting is changing. Instead I stand in it, in the hurt, in the storm, in the uncertainty, in the pain. And eventually it turns again, into beauty… so they hurt me, so they lashed out at me, so they weren’t there for me when I needed them… it doesn’t make them bad… perhaps they’re designing their life by destruction, like I once did. And that pain turns to compassion.
And I put my hand on my heart and thank the universe for the reminder of how I no longer want to live – closed, bitter and alone.
And while it hurt like hell getting here and I feel more than I’ve ever felt in my life, I get to live life, truly live it, not pretend I live it. I get love now, and friendship and I can find the beauty in just about everything.
Designing my own destruction led me to design my own destiny, a place that is filled with love, laughter, true friends, success, health and wealth. Why? Because I believe it exists and we get what we truly believe in….
Design your life by examining what isn’t working, what isn’t making you happy. Have the courage to face it and you’ll get everything you want, even if it doesn’t look like you once thought it would…
PS… check out my 5 Day Challenge for Connecting to Yourself Mind Body Spirit here –>> 5 Day Challenge.