The day you were born is the day you began to take in the world around you. In your mother’s womb, there were no outside influences except that of your mother who carried you. Your birth delivered you into your family of origin which you had no choice in.
Your family of origin shaped and formed you into the person you became. Whatever your family believed about you and communicated to you became your reality.
If you were told you’re amazing, smart, and beautiful, then you grew up believing that about yourself. If you were told you were stupid, dumb, or ugly, then you believed that about yourself.
A negative message will create a negative attitude within you.
The energy we put into trying to be what the world tells us to be or wishing we were like someone else is a waste of energy. It’s unproductive and impossible.
You cannot be someone else as hard as you try or want to be.
A positive message, however, will produce a lifetime of confidence and inspire you to be all you can be.
I’m grateful my Dad instilled in me the fact that I can do or be anything I set my mind to. I believed that undoubtedly throughout my entire life.
So who were you before the world influenced who you were “supposed” to be?
I believe we are all created in Gods image with a unique ability, and to house His presence.
I’m reminded of a story about a dear lady at the age of 78 who had believed all her life that she was an “ugly duckling.” Her father told her that as far back as she could remember.
As a little girl and into her teens, she believed what her father said about her. She lived with that lie. She tried to fit in with everyone around her but always felt inferior. So she stayed in the background, living in the shadows of “beautiful” girls.
This belief caused her to think no one would ever love her, but when a young man asked her out she was ecstatic, and thought, “Maybe I’m beautiful after all?”
Her newfound optimism was shattered terribly when this man raped her after a couple of dates. With destroyed hope, she stayed in that relationship believing she deserved the constant abuse by him because after all, she was an “ugly duckling.”
She married this man and had a couple of children. She loved being a mother and did her best, but the older she got, the more she truly believed she was ugly. She stayed in this marriage her entire life but lived in silence and shame.
I had the privilege to listen to her story when she shared it for the first time. Her self image and confidence were nonexistent. Her shoulders were drooped, and her head hung in shame.
Her story was so hard to share that she wrote it out to read, but even that was too much. I asked her if I could read it for her, which she said yes, and I also was overcome with weeping. We both wept our way through her written story.
Of all the stories I’ve heard, this one filled me with such great compassion unlike any other! In her 78 years of living, she had never had an opportunity to tell her story.
Who would care?
Who would listen?
Why would I tell my story?
How would I tell my story?
She didn’t even know she had a story to tell.
The power of telling our stories was never more evident to me.
This 78-year-old beautiful lady found the courage to share her story, and I was never more proud! No one had ever allowed her to express her feelings she had bottled in her body. Shame consumed her entire life and filled her body, mind, and soul. She was never fully alive.
We met a week later, and as she walked toward me, her head was held high, her step uplifted, and her face glowed. I knew sharing her story had been a defining moment for her. She told me she had never felt freer in her entire life and felt like she’s just beginning to live.
This moment was defining for me. I knew then that telling our stories is powerful at ANY age! It was a clear reminder to do my best to encourage women everywhere and of all ages to understand the power of their story.
As you tell your story, you uncover all the pain and shame.
You begin to see clearly.
You discover God has created you for a unique purpose.
You will no longer believe what the world has told you to be, but instead, you’ll understand what God has created you for. My friend set herself free the day she had the courage to write her story.
You have a story. Tell it and set yourself free.