Have you ever wondered why most people consider unlimited possibilities for themselves to be flights of fancy, daydreams, for the lucky ones or just plain false? The person who beats the odds of their upbringing like Tony Robbins and becomes a world-wide inspiration is a fluke or an anomaly? Do you ever find yourself secretly hating people that are successful and speak their mind freely? Why is it that most people feel that they are in the “have not” category, and what even qualifies for the “have” category?
I spent a great deal of my life feeling that I was in the “have not “category.
Facts: No husband, no children, no white picket fence. Boo Hoo, poor me!
Really? Where did I get that achieving these external markers of a successful person would transform me into a “have” person? Who had actually modelled this “(North) American Dream” as being the ultimate marker of success for me? Certainly not my parents or any of their contemporaries. Oh…wait a second, I just remembered something. Just because my experience of growing up in a community that mirrored “The Stepford Wives” movie caused me great internal turmoil, didn’t mean that I should turn my back on it.
To clarify, growing in a family, community, culture and religion that pretended to model the ultimate happiness a human being can achieve indoctrinated me into believing I too, should follow in their footsteps. Did I make this decision consciously? No, it was made for me and served up to me like breakfast was every day. I may not have liked oatmeal, but I was sitting at that table until I finished it. I guess I did, lol, or I would still be sitting there!
Have you ever noticed that children love “pretend” games? Oh yes, no one has to spell it out for them, it is natural. I remember visiting my cousins in northern Manitoba. We had so much fun playing “Witches” with my older cousin playing the Witch who was looking for Hansel and Gretel to add to her stew. It was enjoyable because she was such a kind and loving soul that would never hurt a fly.
The thing is, when adults “pretend play” happy homes and fulfilling relationships to their children, false becomes true and darkness pretends to be the light. Children, in their innate need to be loved and accepted, go along with this deception. Unfortunately for many children, somewhere along the way to adulthood, this game of the pretend happy family becomes a real measure of success. Notice I did not say true, because it was never true.
Who would do this to a child? My answer to this potent question is that even the most loving parents are if they are not conscious of the fact that they are playing this “pretend game”.
The irony of my desire for all of the markers of success that I mentioned earlier is that…wait for it…they are NOT REAL! Growing up in a family that was made up of pretend love, pretend security and pretend support created a pretend desire for recreating this experience. What did this look like in my life? I had to be nice to others I was fearful of and felt taken advantage of. For example, I worked for a number of men that I did not feel safe with but felt that I was lucky they hired me. I had to keep working in a job I was bored in because I needed money for rent. I had to keep my mouth shut when my father expressed contempt and disgust for minorities because his “exalted” position in my life forbade me to speak ill of him.
I now live in a state of gratitude that I did not perpetuate the illusion of the “happy family” I grew up in on a single innocent child. Against all odds, I am waking up to the truth of who I really am and flipping my destiny on its head. As I question the desires within me and discern whether they are valid to my heart or not, I can clear out the false ones. Infinite possibilities of loving truth open my heart on this incredible journey against the odds of who I was raised to be.