I’m writing this as if I was writing to the people I saw on the Maury show yesterday – or to the millions of people like them – people who never had a chance to experience a loving, caring, warm, secure environment when they were children. People who grew up with the feeling that they weren’t worth very much and that life is hard. People who got the message that anger and lots of it and loudly displaying that anger gives you power over other people. People who never learned to take responsibility for themselves because, after all, anything bad in my life is someone else’s fault. People who are just plain beaten down and don’t know how to get up. People who have seen enough tragedy and sadness to last many lifetimes. People who don’t believe that change is possible.
If logic and reason and shame could bring about change in a person, you probably wouldn’t be in the position you are in now. Deep down you know that the never-ending yelling, blaming, name-calling, and violence aren’t good for your kids or for you and they aren’t getting you anywhere but deeper in the hole you’ve always been in. Most of the time you don’t even allow yourself to think about how low you have sunk, let alone how to get out of that hole. You’ve unconsciously accepted it as a way of life for you and your children, just something that is for some people. You may sometimes feel anger, maybe even rage, against people you feel are responsible for your condition – police, the government, people of another race, rich people, privileged people, the neighbors, your boyfriend or husband, your girlfriend or wife, your enemies. Sometimes you just hate yourself so much that you need to get drunk or high or go on an eating binge just to numb the pain for a little while.
Not everyone will agree with me, but I believe it is your birthright (I love that word) to have a full, happy life. I believe it is everyone’s birthright. You have to believe that before you can set change in motion. I believe in the wisdom of the Bible, and there are plenty of verses I could point to that would confirm my view, but I also believe God put a wisdom in our hearts, and sometimes we just know that something is true. If you will take time every day to be quiet and ask for wisdom, it will be given to you. If you will dare to hope and believe that there is a way out for you and will take the steps you feel directed each day to take, those steps will eventually lead you out. Even those people who appear to live a privileged life have their own challenges and heartaches and have to work on creating a beautiful, meaningful life.
There was a saying back in the 1970’s and 80’s: “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” It sounds so trite and simplistic, but I still believe it is true. That plan isn’t always a nice little walk through rose-covered pathways though. It might be one helluva struggle, especially in the beginning, especially when to step out onto a different road goes against everything you’ve ever known and everyone else in your life. Trust that your life has meaning and purpose. Trust that you will be given the grace and strength to find them. Reprogram your mind to believe in goodness, and be grateful each day for one small good thing in your life.
The name of this blog is Twig by Twig, and I love the meaning behind that. It’s how a bird builds a nest, and it will be the way you build your life – one twig at a time. Look for people who have done that – built a healthy, thriving life and family from nothing (or maybe even less than nothing). They are all over the place – people with sad, bad beginnings who dared to believe that wasn’t the end of the road for them. I love this line from Kung Fu Panda: “Your story may not have such a happy beginning, but that doesn’t make you who you are. It is the rest of your story, who you choose to be. So. . who are you?”