At the age of 5, my mother asked my dad to leave our home. Up until this point, although my dad was in and out, when he was in – I was truly daddy’s little girl. He was kind, sweet, and attentive to me. In fact, when present, he made me feel as if I was the apple of his eye. So when he left and never came back, I was completely baffled. I was too young to really comprehend what was going on and in that moment, I told myself that he left because I wasn’t good enough for him to stay and I begin to hate him for rejecting me.
When I got a little older, one day my mom explained that she asked him to leave because he refused to stop using drugs and she decided that she didn’t want drugs around my brother and me. However, what I heard was, “I wasn’t good enough, because my dad chose drugs over me,” and that was the narrative that I used to construct my entire identity. From that moment on, I set out to prove to everyone that I WAS GOOD ENOUGH. As a result, I was an exceptionally great kid, teenager and young adult. I rarely got into trouble because I was determined to make my family proud of me, and I did.
As I became an adult – that same narrative continued to play out in my life. I was always looking to prove my self-worth (that I really was good enough) to others, I was a people-pleaser. In fact, I was meticulous in all of my personal and professional dealings. I always operated on a higher level and I expected reciprocity from others. Now because the expectations were set so high, very few people were able to meet them and when they couldn’t or I felt I wasn’t being appreciated, I would immediately find the closest exit. As you can probably imagine, I ruined many friendships, relationships and business partnerships along the way.
The Year of Correction
In 2010, I was invited to join this mastermind group that my business partner at the time was involved with. There were a total of 5 people in this group and we each had defined and shared dreams that we wanted to achieve in life with the expectation that we would collectively hold each other accountable. By the middle of year, 2 of the people had dropped out of the group and there were just three of us left. We continued to meet weekly and overtime, we began to get to know each other on a more personal level.
Now, I have to admit that these two ladies were absolutely amazing women and I learned so much from them. Listening to them speak about the love ones in their lives gave me a entirely new understanding and appreciation for the family nucleus. In fact, by the end of the year, I had decided that I no longer wanted to harbor the anger, bitterness and resentment that I had for my dad. I wanted to forgive him and I set out to do just that. It took some major internal work and several months, well into 2011, before I could completely forgive him. However, inside of forgiving him, I had decided that I didn’t want to have a relationship with him because I didn’t want to deal with his drug habit, “his mess”. And, I was completely fine right there with that decision.
Several months later, I decided to read the Bible from cover to cover. After a little over two months, I finished it and what I realized is that it is truly the greatest love story ever written. It portrays an amazing narrative of the Creator, His creation and the extent He went to ensure a relationship with mankind. It essentially begins and ends with Relationship and Love. Immediately after reading the Bible, I read a fictional book entitled “The Shack” by WM. Paul Young, and of course it too was about Relationship and Love.
By the spring of 2011, I had gained an entirely new understanding of Love. So I prayed, asking God to show me how to walk in love – and girl did He answer. From that moment on, I found myself in situation, after situation, after situation of constant correction. As a result, I cried more in 2011 than any year of my life, I learned who I am, why I do the things I do, and, most importantly, my prayer was answered because I learned how walk in love. And my life was truly transformed.
Today, I see the world in a different light. My relationship with God is different. My relationships with family members is different. My relationships with friends and others is different. I’m different and my approach to fulfilling my purpose in life is different.
So, I will end with this – I’m a living witness that LOVE can conquer all!