Wednesday, October 22, 2008
When I was a very young girl, about two or three, I realized that I needed to be my own best friend. I needed to be reliably kind to myself. I knew if anyone would stand up for me, it would be me.
It is interesting to me that such a strong impression about my life would be forged at such a young age. I found myself sandwiched between an older brother who weighed in on the bully side and a younger sister who was a master at manipulating my father in her favor. Somewhat cut off from the loving attention of my mother (just because she was so busy with 7 children), and with no sense of comradery with siblings, I oftentimes found myself standing alone looking around to see how this game of life should be played.
It quickly became apparent that I had two choices, sink or swim. I chose swim, which meant I had to stand up and defend my right to be me. This of course applied to everything - my opinions, speaking my mind, my actions, and a sense of integrity about being true to what I knew was right.
At the time this seemed like quite a burden for any one person to have to shoulder. Looking back, I see this was a time for establishing a solid way to solve problems that would be a great asset to being successful.
My brother and sister turned out to be excellent practice in dealing with those who attempt to get what they want by controlling others for their own selfish reasons.
I learned first hand the meaning of “walk softly yet carry a big stick.” In my case the big stick was a tenacious outspokenness, wherein the best defense was a good offense, but used only as needed to ensure that fairness and rightness were upheld. Thankfully, my lessons for fairness were learned from my mother, and rightness from my father, two people with high standards and a strong sense of morality.
Now today, with four children of my own, a husband, a business and a career, I still live with the commitment to myself, to take care of myself and stand up for me.
I take care of my health, my physical, my mental and emotional health. How do I do it? I take actions that result in better health all around. I keep company with those that I find are genuine, good people, helpful to me and me to them. I keep company with those that are sincere about their motives, based on their actions and deeds (not words). I am true to myself and what I know is right. I don’t compromise – I persist.
My story is a story of a young girl who turned adversity into advantage and how the many lessons learned in life helped to make me a stronger more loving and giving person. I have come full circle and decided that at this time, that I would like to share some of my thoughts, tips, and life’s lessons in hopes that some of these may be of help to others.
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