Hello, my name is Leigh Daniel, I am an Infinite Possibilities Trainer, a writer, speaker, workshop leader, and lawyer. My dream is to help everyone live the life of their dreams. This post is from my series on Weight Loss. Read more about me and the Path to Positive Change at www.LeighDaniel.com
I’ve been teaching Infinite Possibilities for a couple of years now and the stories I hear have been heart breaking. I was talking to a high school class once and tossed out the question, “Has anybody here ever been called names?” I was quickly reminded of how painful growing up can be as hand after hand rose quietly. Taken aback by the response I nodded towards a young girl who was looking very sad and said, “It hurts doesn’t it?” She
ducked her head and replied, “My Mom’s boyfriend says I’m fat, useless, and that no one will ever like me”. As she continued to cast her gaze down I said, “Don’t listen to him. Never let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough.” As I continued with the class I tried to bolster their confidence. I told them my own stories of being ridiculed in school. For some ridiculous reason unbeknownst to me (or maybe it’s blocked), I was labeled by the kids, “brickhead”. I told them that the last laugh was on me since I went from being considered stupid to graduating college, then law school, then starting my own law firm at 27 years old. The class I was speaking to loved it. They laughed out loud at the hurtful nickname. I laughed with them. I felt good about my lesson to them, we are all powerful. We are as strong as we believe we are. We can be whatever we want.
I gathered up and walked down the hall toward the exit. Before I got there a girl from class came beside me and asked me if she could walk me out. “Of course”. She said, “What if I have done bad things?” Hmm.. I was thinking you’re fourteen or fifteen, how bad can it be? I said, “it doesn’t matter what you have done, you always have a chance to start over. You can create whatever you want today!” Her response wasn’t enthusiastic. “Yea, but I’ve been really bad. I don’t know .. “ she trailed off. I don’t have any training speaking to troubled teenagers, heck, I didn’t handle my own teens too well. But I did know. I know that whatever we have done and however we judge ourselves we can start over at any moment. We can choose to forgive ourselves. We can choose to believe in ourselves. No matter what we have been told we can create our own lives. I hugged her and gave her as much encouragement as I could muster. Then I went outside to my car and cried.
I cried for them and for me, because I knew how they felt. I knew intimately about judging myself and letting other people judge me. Internalizing the judgment is how we find ourselves fighting weight, addiction, depression, and a variety of other maladies. For me, I chose to find solace in eating. You already know, “Oops, I did it again”.
Thanks Britney. As adults we can carry the wounds of childhood into our lives and they fester with an infection that causes us to burn with fever. I have taught adult classes and been witness to “Aha” moments when people realize they are carrying the impression left by their parents imprinted on their brain. NOT GOOD ENOUGH. You and I can learn together and then we can relearn. After years of not good enough, it may take more than one try. That’s ok, we have plenty of time.
When I found myself going down this dark road again after being rejected I let myself ride the road into the shadows. But not for long. I had the tools and the knowledge to head back toward the light. The light that, wouldn’t you know, lived inside me. After being a divorce lawyer for so many years, I can see how rejection affects your confidence and feeling good enough. I have sat with many clients as they tell me sad stories. They are no less affected than the teenagers in the class. Name calling, being “bad”, and being rejected are not reserved for the young. The way we deal with these things may change but they still hurt. You feel the heat.
Let’s stop today once and for all. Together let’s vow we won’t forget ourselves again. We are all powerful. We can choose each day. We are strong. We are creating the lives we love. Take time to look at what you may be carrying. Once you see what it- you can name it for the lie it is. Take a walk down the hall with the person holding onto the hurt, the person feeling the pain, and tell them that it doesn’t matter. We are, indeed, all powerful.