How Perspective Gives Us Power.

One of life’s truths for better or for worse; is that as we grow, we find the only person we can ever be truly responsible for is ourselves.

If you’ve read my previous post “Another Brown Girls Story” You know that I’m no stranger to abuse, I have in my past been victimized by others in some pretty extreme ways. Many times people have commented on my strength and ability to defy the norms, Social workers have on one more than one occasion asked how I did it.. and we’ve discussed and debated together how others in similar situations have not.

While I am tempted to write myself off as an optimist a modern Pollyanna, I think there is more to it than that.

I’m a realist in that I try to see the world through a truthful lens. I don’t pretty things up or look through the proverbial rose colored glasses. I recognise that there is both true evil and true beauty surrounding us. I look for the good in others but I also am not blind to the fact that some people some relationships some ideas are truly toxic. I know the horrors of abuse, neglect abandonment. the pain of losing good friends by death or by choices, the heartache of knowing that some dreams will never come to be… I look at life for what it is…and I accept it.

But to me, “accepting” is not sitting down and being complacent. It’s not continuing to let things just “happen” to me. I am not crippled or damaged, by other people’s choices. I know that how they affect me is my only real choice in the matter.

I think what separates those of us who make it at those of us who don’t is what we take ownership of.

I do not own that I have any responsibility for the man who raped me when I was five years old. It doesn’t matter that he said “I looked good in yellow baby doll pajamas or was too cute to resist”

I do not own my mothers rhetoric that as an 8-year-old I sent her to jail because I wanted to be adopted my rich people.

I do not own the defamation of character tales that people in my youth and adulthood have spread about me.

They tried to break me. It didn’t work.

That is not to say however that I see myself as perfect. I do not see myself as “without blame” or “faultless”.  I take ownership of what is mine. That I can be selfish, lazy, distracted jealous, that I can put my needs before those of others, that I can cut people with words or only take so much that the kindest I can be, is to think of those who hurt me as “dead”. I take ownership that I am a mamma bear and will defend those I love with my life, that I can be pushy and demanding. That I’m not yet all that I want to be. That sometimes I’m ashamed of who I am.

But

I look at who I am in honesty. I do not make excuses. (I can be a little scary that way) and then I make a plan.

I recently learned this is called “Growth Mindset” and for me it makes all the difference.

With a growth mindset you never settle. It is the opposite of accepting that “this is just how things are” Every single successful person in life has a GROWTH MINDSET. They see failure as an opportunity.

The opposite of this is a fixed mindset.  People with a fixed mindset believe that how things are is how they will always be. The danger here is that if something shakes this belief people are often lost. Some of us have an idea that because we were not born into opportunity, because the cards were stacked against us from birth our destiny is to fail. We go through life saying “you just don’t understand”, “it’s not my fault”. In someways you are right. The circumstance of your past were in many ways not your fault! However, Your future most definitely is!

Wherever you are, today is your opportunity to move forward! If you want to be more educated, go to the library. Or stop watching pointless mind numbing internet crap. Instead, watch a Biography or a Ted Talk. If you want better relationships, get off Facebook and go do something with family or friends (Board games are still magic) If you want to lose weight….(just kidding I have no advice on that one!).  You can do something little every single day to start to improve your life. Even if it just starting to change the way you think!

So lets do this, lets set some goals and shatter some labels! From my perspective, YOU are capable of anything you Set Your Mind To!

I’m rooting for you!

Carob