Friday, February 15, 2013

Stop Thinking Poorly About Yourself

Say you grew up a fundamentalist Christian.  Maybe you were converted to it.  Say you required unquestioning submission of your wife and children.  Maybe you are a woman who has broken free of quiverfull ideals and no longer subscribe to the doctrine of patriarchy.  Maybe you had many children and are just beginning to get your life on a path to future success.  Maybe you were forced to only be a part of the family business and later, when you left the family, had no real marketable skills.

Whatever the reason, you're older now and
 you look at yourself, and you consider yourself behind everyone else at your age.  You are starting late.  You are.  That's a fact.  But is it a negative?

I'm going to go through a small list of thoughts that might be shooting their way through your brain regularly, keeping you down on yourself, and causing you to constantly look over your shoulder, checking if you are as good as you really are.

With my past, I failed myself:

I was beaten and abused when I was a child.  I grew up fundamentalist and believed in female submission, Michael Pearl style child abuse, single income families (the dad worked, of course), and all Republican principles.  I made sure my wife submitted, bought her books on how to submit (thanks to Debi Pearl), and plenty of books on child-rearing.

Would I change any of it?  Does Kristine, my wife want to change any of it?  Absolutely!  We made some decisions that were based on our upbringing that have given others a leg up on us, leaving us to claw our way back into society, building our careers at a later stage in life, and a bunch of confused kids.  They barely even know what a spanking is now and wonder why we don't care so much if they pee in their beds.

But there are many things I cannot change.  The abuse as a child.  The way my life led me into what I was.  The fact that we birthed six beautiful children and they cost money and require an extra level of responsibility.    I mean, seriously, which kid could I do without?  How would my character of determination and motivation, looking for a better future, be changed if I had not gone through what I did.

I understand pain and anguish.  I understand confusion.  I understand the need to be loved and feel as if nobody gave a crap about me - for me, unless I was towing the line, both religiously and politically.

So no.  You have not failed in your past.  Your past is simply that - YOUR PAST!  How you utilize it to propel you into the future will determine your failure status.  Your decisions may have been bad or poorly referenced and yet, they were not failures.  You can and will improve.  Now move forward.

I don't deserve accolades for good grades and career success, starting later in life, because I simply HAVE to do it.  Thus, I must push harder than others, making me look better than them, even though I'm really not:

Pure, unadulterated bullshit.  I have never heard worse poppycock in my entire life.  That's just stupid.  Stop thinking that immediately.  Right now.  If your brain even begins to entertain that thought again, stick a pencil in your eye (okay...don't do that, really).

Those who went to college right out of high school, started their careers at 21, learned to socialize with a variety of people that they may not agree with, are making money - good money - at this stage in their life, ALSO HAD TO WORK for their success.  They had obstacles, just like you do.  They overcame those obstacles and deserved their accolades.  You also have obstacles, potentially much greater obstacles, have more life experience, and are starting on your career path much later in life.

Like hell you don't deserve accolades.  You do!  Get over it.  Let people who know you tell you how awesome you are. Eat that shit up and enjoy it while it lasts.  You'll look like everyone else twenty years from now and you'll miss the pleasures of today - the worshipful "you're a hell of a human being".

Read Part 2...

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