Silent Partner - Ticker
I was reminded of a video of Maya Angelou sharing a story of her mother telling her she believed she would be great one day. That she would bring value to people. And that set her free. Her mother's love and belief in her "liberated her."
I realized just now.. I've never really had a mentor/older sister/someone I looked up to, who ever said those words out loud to me. That he/she believed in my greatness and the value I would and could bring to others. I mean in Asian cultures, it's typical to be told the exact opposite... "you're not good enough."
I'm old enough to understand why our parents or elders would teach us that. They themselves were probably brought up in an environment that was even harsher about devaluing their own self worth. In a way, it's to instill respect for those around you and to continuously humble yourself so you can strive to be always be better. I could see how it's a method to encourage and help shape you into a better and better person without showing emotion. Kind of a tough love method.
But I can say growing from a child to now as an adult in that method of teaching... that sense of not being good enough has bled through from my consciousness to subconscious... so much so that I now struggle with my self esteem, self image, and self worth as a person.. as a woman. There's always a voice.. (ahh that internal voice) who taps my shoulder and whispers to me, "it could have been better." She creates a cloud of doubt that hovers above almost everything I'm about to do or have done. Some days I'll let that cloud pour all over my soul. Other days.. it just a slight mist. I'm happy to say current internal weather conditions have been partly cloudy (I'm working on it)!
I have also realized the cross I've been bearing all these years is, since no one told me I would great and capable of doing great things (whether for others or myself) is that I had to believe in myself. I had to be strong and show/prove to everyone I had it in me all along. I could do it! I thought that mentality would fuel me in the right way. It would drive me to be more and more ambitious. What I found out was that it was tearing me apart inside. It wasn't the right motivation.
I tried to take control of my own life. Almost will things to happen. And when they didn't go my way, I would be so mad at myself. Every failure was a point to the other side and revealed cracks in my armor. I would rant how this and that was unfair and it drove me into a mild depression. I couldn't even measure up to my own expectations and dreams. If I couldn't do that, how I could measure up to other people's expectations of me?
But you see, the fuel which drove my blind ambitions was tainted. I wasn't really doing it for myself or to even simply be a positive energy in this world for others (which is what your true value is). I was set to prove something. And that was to be "good enough" to .. oh.. everyone.. my mom, my dad, my grandma, my brother, my teachers, my peers, my friends, my boss, my future employers, my coworkers, my crush/boyfriend, people I had yet to meet... I mean the list just went on and on.
Finally, I came out of it. How? Well, this may be too spiritual or religious for some people's taste... but it's my truth. It was God. I realized, His love liberated me long before I was even created. You can absolutely substitute God for The Universe. Whatever your own beliefs and preferred lingo. For me, it's God. He believed in me. And still.. to this day does. He made me with an intention and a specific purpose. Only something I can fulfill. He put me on this Earth, with this voice and mind, with the people I would inevitable cross paths with one day... to be me. And if He believes in me so much, who am I not to believe in myself as well and the purpose He lovingly and fearfully created just for me.
... Love Liberates.
It doesn't bind. It doesn't hold.
- Maya Angelou