Values, Judgement and Empowerment

Every single one of us has the power to make a difference to other people, thereby changing our world. In every second, we have this power, whether we see it or not.

I try to use this power for good. I don’t always succeed, but more often than not, I think I might.

I’m a little addicted to social media when I have free time. I read a lot of articles and a lot of posts. I love reading the comments. However, sometimes they also challenge me. People can be very aggressive and very unthinking in their responses (yes, I mean unthinking instead of unthoughtful). I try to think carefully before I respond; sometimes I initially misinterpret the intent of a comment. If I responded without thinking, I could cause pain to someone by minimising them. I do not like doing this to other people.

I think we should all be a little more measured in our comments. And, in our thoughts and actions beyond the internet.

Something I have been practising learning since Uluru is my need to bash people with healing strategies. One of my core values is healing and the belief that we all should be striving to be the best we can be by healing what isn’t right within us. As a result, if you tell me something, I’ll go into Miss Fix-It mode and start healing you.

I am learning and trying to remember that sometimes, just sometimes lol, people don’t want a solution or pathway out, they just want to be heard. I am also learning that not everyone wants to be healed or is ready to start the process. I struggle with this too. It works against my values. But, I’m learning.

My values, upon last assessment, encompass healing/empowerment, learning and spirituality, and developing and strengthening my business practice.

By spending more time in the areas of my values, I am finding greater happiness and fulfilment in my life. They have also enabled and empowered me to learn better communication with others because I am more conscious of how my values impact my relationships with others.

We are not all the same. Understanding our differences empowers stronger relationships, fosters inner peace, and enables happiness. Understanding why we respond in certain ways enables us to be better friends and citizens, less judgemental and more open. In turn, this broadens our world and our experiences. Our lives and our selves become richer.

And, this can only be a good thing.

I worked my values out from the link below, using the worksheets that Peter has posted. It is something you might choose to do over the next couple of days.

All of the instructions are there and it is easy to do:

My ParentsĀ 

I survived a tumultuous and dysfunctional childhood. It wasn’t all bad but there was plenty of bad in it. My dad emerged from Nazi Germany as a toddler without his birth mother; she died of tuberculosis during the war. My mum emerged from her Finnish home at the same time in world history. They both endured and survived their own childhoods. Stories for another time. 

As an adult, in this house actually, I have spoken to both of my parents (separately) about their lives before me, and their own childhood stories and experiences. I also spoke to them at length about my perception of my childhood under their reign. With tears, they both acknowledged responsibility for the dysfunction. 

This enabled me to forgive them and move forward; away from childhood pain and wounds that were manifesting negatively in my adult self. And when I say I forgave them, this didn’t happen overnight. It had been a process towards understanding that I initiated in my early twenties. My logic was that if I could understand their stories, so why they made the choices they did that inevitably impacted on my childhood, then I would be able to move forward. I would understand why. 

What I haven’t acknowledged prior to now, is what a huge gift this was from my parents.

It was a difficult journey for both of them to acknowledge responsibility for my childhood. It hurt both of them immensely. And I was cold in exacting that acknowledgement. In retrospect, it was necessary for me to move forward and have the relationships I have with both of my parents now, but it hurt them at the time. And I am so proud of them both for doing it, and immensely grateful. 

I felt that my parents didn’t protect me during my childhood. Due to their own significant issues, they weren’t able to ensure my safety or the safety of my sisters. They were absent even though they were physically present. 

But in our adult relationships, well, they have become closer to the ideal parents we all long for. They both step up when they know there is a problem. Stepping up for them means that they have to suspend their own fears and patterns of behaviour, and I am grateful that they do. I don’t say that enough. Or ever, really. And I should. 

As I said, it was a process of forgiveness through understanding, and I think it is important for all of us to realize how important forgiveness is in our lives. I will always have damaged parts of myself. 

But they do not define me. 

Most people wouldn’t even realize I was damaged and broken. My childhood is not the sum of me. 

And I have been able to embrace the positive aspects of myself that resulted from my experiences throughout childhood. I am empathetic. I am strong. I am compassionate. I am resilient. I survived. And I grew. I understand. And I share my knowledge. I make a difference in this world because I can. 

These are some of the gifts that my dysfunctional childhood empowered me with. And I am grateful for them and the experiences that gave them to me. 

I don’t think I wish my life would have been different. 

And this is big. My childhood encompassed sexual, physical and emotional/psychological violence. Fairly consistently. Pretty much until I moved out at sixteen and a half (for the first time). 

And moving through it as an adult, dealing with the memories and the lack of memories, with the trauma and the fear that manifests in bouts of depression, self harm and dark thoughts of suicide, has been lonely and terrifying at times. But I have moved through it and I am stronger as a result. 

And now, I feel quite happy and calm. I am quite at peace in my life. 

As I have aged, I have become more grateful for my parents. A lot of my friends have lost one or both of their parents, and I see the impact of the loss. I am grateful that we have resolved my childhood together; it has been empowering. And whilst my parents weren’t brilliant when I was growing up, I don’t doubt their love for me. And as an adult child, they have stepped up and if I ask for help, they try to provide whatever assistance they are able to. 

Together, and as individuals, we have moved forward. 

I am very grateful for that. 

Thank you mum and dad! 

I love you always.