It isn’t what you want or don’t want, or what you do or
don’t do, that’s revealing—it’s the why behind it.
In Chapter 1, you identified five things that you don’t want to change in your life, which is great! You’ve started thinking about your true priorities and now have a list of factors and considerations to work with as you define your goals and identify steps to achieve them. You’ve also opened the door to realizing what you are willing to do, but we’ll get back to that later. First, we need to do a little more digging and get some even more important information.
Many times, it isn’t what you want or don’t want, or what you do or don’t do, that’s revealing—it’s the why behind it.
Too Stupid to Live
In my life, the one area that was off limits to change was my relationship. I couldn’t imagine not being married. So, I tolerated the intolerable. It took a long time to realize what I was doing, and longer still to figure out why. Eventually, I discovered I had a belief system, ingrained from birth, that tied my identity and worth to having a man in my life.
Consciously, I was an outspoken teenager with the “I am woman, hear me roar” attitude of the times. I couldn’t wait to get out of high school. I had a plan. I’d figured out how I could fast-track my degree and my career, and in no time I’d be my own boss, walking into my high-rise CEO office in a designer business suit and barking out orders. No one was going to tell me what to do, not at work and not in my personal life. And I didn’t care what anyone said, I wasn’t having kids. I thought any woman who had children was an idiot, and if she gave up a career and stayed home with them, well, she was just too stupid to live.
Oh, yes, I said that—repeatedly. Granted, I was a know-it-all teenager, but I believed it was true, and it was how I intended to live my life. However, what I said consciously that I would never do, and the subconscious programming in charge of what I was actually going to do, were working with two vastly different scripts.
Of course, you know where this story is going. In spite of all my bold talk, I did exactly what I said I wouldn’t in every way, shape and form. I walked away from a promising journalism career because working late at the university newspaper upset my new husband. I quit school to support him in his career, and eventually I became a “too stupid to live” full-time stay-at-home mom.
Now, my kids are great, and I am really proud of them. I’m also deeply grateful that I had the opportunity to stay home with them when they were young. At the time, however, I wasn’t fully on board with the being grateful thing. Some days, I felt smugly superior because I was at home with my children while all those heartless career women were missing out. Other days, I felt like a failure. I felt unworthy of breathing the same air as “successful” women. I wanted so badly to be someone other than Mommy and the maid. I wanted to be someone who accomplished things and who was acknowledged for her intelligence, talents and abilities. I wanted the me back that I’d lost, but I didn’t want to give up what I had. I both loved and hated my life, and my brain couldn’t reconcile the two. My conflicting beliefs about career, marriage, motherhood and choice only added to my downward spiral.
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Genre – Personal Development / Self-Help / Motivational