SHE TOLD ME: “There’s Power in your Pain, and nobody can ever take that away from you”
This was one of the many things I learned from Gail, my mentor during my young years. She was a powerful force of nature, an accomplished outdoor pursuits instructor and Charity Youth Worker, who taught me a variety of life skills not to mention, how to drive, rope abseil down the side of a mountain, kayak across the North Sea from England to Norway, I did all this under the careful watch, guidance and leadership.
But what I really need to learn in my later years was, forgiveness. Especially self-forgiveness.
This is where the real strength lies. Whether it be childhood or adulthood hurts, power can be drawn from self-forgiveness. Imagine how your childhood pain could be used for ultimate good by taking a childhood hurt, dealing with it, forgiving it, and using it to better relate to others who may be going through what you did.
I was raised in an environment that most people would consider, improbable, or more over impossible, to rise up to success, and I don’t mean success just in monetary terms, but in spirit and dreams.
I was born and raised between somewhere and nowhere, having been placed into a series of foster homes from the age of two. But I knew one thing to be true, that “where you are, is not who you are”, it’s just circumstance, of that moment in time, and you can change that. I wasn’t a tree.
But I was crippled with deep seated pain, and an ill feeling about being placed into foster homes as an infant, and the paralyzing feeling of inadequacy I developed as I grew up. Not having real parents, the authentic, genuine love a mother has for her child, all that was lost on me, the motherly guidance, and connection that my friends seemingly took for granted.
Even the forehead kisses my childhood friends would receive from their mothers before we went out to play football, was a daily reminder of the gaping void and difference between myself and them.
This void drove me to create an extraordinary persona for myself. I was, in effect, my own creation. A good many adults that came out of foster care do that, as we are not the reflections of our foster homes.
One might think, “well you were taken in, so why don’t you consider the glass half full, instead of half empty?”, All I can say is, as a foster child, the dominant feeling is of being rejected, not selected. As you’re powerless to do anything about it at the time it happens.
There’s a flip side to being told one was chosen, the underlying fear is that one may be sent back to where we came if we are not special enough. (Which I experienced four times before the age of three). Clearly, those of us that manage to go on to achieve relatively successful lives today do so for a whole host of reasons.
For many fostered adults, foster homes provide a compelling reason to find success. The problems of people’s pasts impact them in one of two ways, they experience either a breakdown or a breakthrough.
There Is No Such Thing As A Genius, Some Children Are Just Damaged Less
– Buckminster Fuller
This is what led me to create Success Mentors Academy™, a coaching platform to help disadvantaged youths from broken homes, and adults struggling with childhood trauma, healing, in need of mentorship.
Nobody knows how to help another person better than the one who went through it and has successfully coped and survived! The truth about your childhood hurts is that if you choose not to deal with them; then they deal with you. The pain comes out in your attitude, your behavior, even in the choices you make for yourself. You can either numb yourself or allow it to be your motivation to do some good.
What pain have you experienced in your past that you don’t want to deal with or have not forgiven?
I urge you to reconsider it. Your decision to forgive, deal with it, and then share it could bring you your greatest fulfillment. Some of the most powerful people are those who are willing to share their past pain.
Every one of us has had our share. There is no such thing as a perfect family or perfect parents. So get over the lie that you are the only one who had to go through that pain. The people in your childhood who loved you (and even those who refused to love you) and the pain in your childhood all shaped the person you are today. They are all a part of your life purpose.
As I learned from Tony Robbins, you have to think about all the things you used to blame those in your past for because if you’re going to blame them for all the bad, you better blame them for all the good too.
If you’re gonna give them credit for everything that’s broken in your life, you have to give them credit for everything that’s great, because life is not so simple and black and white.
I blame all my foster parents for all the beauty in my life, I blame them for my capacity to feel and care because I know what the opposite is. I blame them for my insatiable hunger to end suffering for other youths and adults who are struggling.
If I’d had the so called “ideal parents” I had wanted, I would not be the man I’m proud to be today. If we can just realize that life is happening for us and not to us, all the pain and suffering disappears
Then you can allow your pain to motivate you to speak out and work for ultimate good. What a gift you have to give when you are willing to look at your pain as a possibility for good. The joys and pains of your childhood create in you a strong foundation to and a drive to help and heal others, which in turn heals the self.
To Your Great Success!
Author | Speaker | Coach
Founder, Success Mentors Academy™
Creator, 7-Step Online Business Blueprint