Until a few years ago I didn’t really understand and appreciate just how significant my childhood was in shaping who I am today. My childhood was filled with different elements that made it good as well as some other elements that were not so good. Overall, I would say compared to many people I had a good life. There are people out there who have lived through childhood experiences that no child should ever have to endure. Those who survived, what price does their adulthood now pay as a result of those experiences.
Do you realise just how much of an impact our childhood has on our relationships?
Relationships can be tricky. You see, we are dealing with people’s feelings, emotions, expectations and even their past experiences knowingly and unknowingly. Even the best relationships have problems and issues to deal with. What makes them successful is not only how they treat with their problems but also their willingness and desire to remain with each other.
Some times when a relationship fails we beat ourselves up over them while others are able to dust it off and move on almost as if it never happened. Why is that?
I believe that some of our childhood experiences affect us as adults more than we think or would like to admit. Sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. How so?
Someone who grew up seeing their parents deal with problems by running away or avoiding the issues would more than likely do the same thing when faced with problems until they learn to respond differently.
Someone who grew up seeing a lot of violence in the home might create a similar environment in their household or might stay in an abusive situation because it feels ‘familiar’ or ‘normal‘.
Someone who saw infidelity or saw how it broke up their home as a child might have difficulty trusting people.
Someone who experienced abandonment growing up might have difficulty trusting others and would probably always strive to be self-reliant.
The above scenarios are just a small fraction of some possibilities that some of us would have endured as children growing up. Let me say upfront, not because someone had a tough childhood means they would automatically repeat the same pattern. What I would say however, is that the negative experiences do affect us in some way. To what extent I can’t say because that would vary from individual to individual.
So ask yourself the questions and be honest with yourself.
How much of your childhood affects how you parent?
How much of your childhood affects how you love others and yourself?
How much of your childhood affects how you receive love?
How much of your childhood affects how much you trust other people?
How much of your childhood affects your ability to let others get close you?
How much of your childhood affects why you like what you like or don’t like certain things or certain people?
How much of your childhood affects your ability to forgive?
The fact is, only you can honestly answer those questions. I’ve learnt that no matter how long ago the pain or hurt occurred in our childhood once it was never addressed or given closure it affects us and our relationships.
We can pretend it does not bother us or act like it never happened but in our subconscious and conscious mind it is there. The memories may be in the corner covered up but they’re still there. Ignoring them won’t make them go away. When you think you’re over it, life has a way of bringing it to the surface and because we have never dealt with it, there is often chaos and drama.
Many times when we enter relationships we only enter with the knowledge of what we’ve seen or been told by that special someone. The average person does not lay out all their hurt for the world to see. We bury it in an effort to forget so that we can function and have some measure of normalcy in our lives. We call it self-preservation and our brain does that to help us initially but we can only hide for so long.
When relationships fail, it’s not always because of what is seen on the surface but sometimes the issue is much deeper. No, it’s not our job to fix the person we’re with! We have your own issues to address before we can help anyone else. They must be willing and ready to face their own truths and address them one at a time. That is the hard truth.
Some people over the years have been able to work through their childhood experiences to live better, happier lives. Facing some of those memories can be tough but it is possible to find peace within ourselves so we can truly move forward.
There is no doubt in my mind that our childhood can and does impact our adult lives. How we let it impact our relationships is up to us. When relationships fail it can be a tough pill to swallow. After all, we’ve invested our time, our hearts and resources into the experience. Cherish the good memories from your childhood and get help in working through the challenging ones so they don’t keep you stuck.
May you find the strength and courage to address the pain and hurt that you are dealing with. Those of us that have children owe it to them to get resolution of our own issues so we don’t repeat the cycle of pain. We can’t help them until we help ourselves.
I believe that every disappointment has a hidden blessing behind it even though we may not see it at the time.
What do I mean by “blessing“? I believe that a blessing can refer to a person or an act that can improve or add value, happiness and joy to someone’s life. It can be anything from getting a new house; getting a promotion; conceiving or receiving a child; spiritual healing, physical healing; meeting the love of your life; achieving financial deliverance and so much more based on the needs and value placed on it by the person receiving it.
God knows our heart’s desires. He also knows whatis best for us and more importantly whento bless us with the things that we need and want. I’ve come to learn over the years that my timing and God’s timing are different. I want all of my blessings and I want them now – used to be my attitude and thinking. Patience was a virtue I definitely lacked.
God has a bigger plan for our lives. We all have a special and unique purpose and contribution to make in this world even though we can’t see it now.
However, in order for us to receive the blessings God has for us – I believe that we have to first undergo some test and learn some lessons along the way, all designed to develop and strengthen us. Some of the test and lessons are more difficult than others and can come in the form of hardship, disappointments and even tragedy.
In my test, I would admit I was sometimes confused, angry and even disappointed when things didn’t go my way or when relationships failed.
Here are (10) ten lessons that I learnt:
When God puts it in your heart to do something – do it! Don’t delay and keep putting it off. You don’t want him to up the antics to get your attention.
Some test and lessons require us to walk away from certain people and things in our lives for us to achieve the things we are destined for. When God says it’s time to wrap it up you better wrap it up.
Every disappointment, every failure and every heart-break was designed to make us stronger, wiser and more resilient.
Disappointment hurts and it can even leave us feeling a little crushed. It is not however, meant to destroy our hope or wreck our lives. It is how we respond to these events that can bring us the break-through that we’ve hoped for.
Crying can help bring emotional release but it does not help with the mental turmoil. Those feelings of unworthiness, self-doubt, self-pity, anger, resentment and frustration can eat you alive. I had to find ways to overcome those feelings in order for me to move forward with my life and that in itself was a test and a lesson.
God knows the things we struggle with even before we do. He will even create situations to help us overcome them but we have to trust him and persevere. We must do our part or there will be no growth and I believe we remain stuck in our test until we learn the lesson.
God is a merciful God and he will never give us more than we can bear. Our test are different and some might even say unfair at times as we compare our lives to others but let’s not compare but instead choose to persevere so our blessings can flow as we continue to grow in mind, body and spirit.
It takes a lot of self talk, prayer, faith, trust and perseverance to go through life in your present existence knowing that although everything is not perfect right now things will get better.
Use disappointment as a stepping stone to propel you into the next level of your journey.
We all have our own test to complete and our own lessons to learn.
What lesson is God trying to teach you in your life now? What or who is holding you back from becoming who you are meant to be?
I believe we all have the potential to not only overcome the disappointments that we are faced with but also get the hidden blessings that can come out of them – if we choose to view them differently and persevere.
If you are going through a tough period in your life now, know that you are not alone. Life can be a struggle but not everything in it has to be. Trust that this too shall pass, look for the lesson, learn from it and God will deliver your blessing.
Do you know what Oprah Winfrey, Stephen King, Richard Branson, Thomas Edison, Jay-Z and Steven Spielberg have in common? Let’s get to know them a little better first.
Oprah Winfrey– was repeatedly molested as a child. She ran away from home. She in her early teenage years gave birth to a baby boy who unfortunately died. Although forced to endure unimaginable circumstances in her early childhood, Winfrey persevered. She excelled as an honour student and eventually secured a full scholarship to college. She is now one of the most successful and richest people in the world today. According the Forbes, Winfrey is worth an estimated $3 billion.
Stephen King– had his first novel “Carrie” rejected 30 times by publishing houses. His wife encouraged him to try one more time and he was eventually able to get it published. King sold over 350 million copies and even had it made into motion pictures. According the The Richest, he is worth an estimated $400 million.
Richard Branson – despite the difficulties and challenges posed by his acknowledged dyslexia, Branson used his personality and business talents to become the success he is today. According to Forbes, Branson is worth an estimated $5.1 billion.
Thomas Edison – failed a number of times before successfully creating the lightbulb. The exact number of tries has been debated but some say as much as 10,000 attempts. Can you imagine? His perseverance paid off and bought us not only the lightbulb but the phonograph as well.
Jay-Z-had big dreams to make it big as a rapper. Unfortunately, he had difficulty convincing record labels to sign him. This however, did not deter him in fact, he persevered and now owns his own record label. Jay-Z is not just a rapper but a businessman who has investments in clothing lines, real estate, sports teams, record labels, and more. According to Forbes, his estimated worth was $610 million in 2016.
Steven Spielberg – was rejected twice from the University of Southern California (USC). Spielberg did not allow this rejection to crush his dreams. He went on to attend California State University in Long Beach. USC eventually awarded him a honorary degree in 1994 and he even became a trustee of the university in 1996. According to Forbes, Spielberg is worth an estimated $3.7 billion.
The commonality among these people was a burning desire to move pass the obstacles in their lives. They did not allow a scarred childhood, disappointment or repeated rejection to prevent them from achieving the success they wanted for themselves. They all chose to look beyond their circumstances and worked hard to secure a better life for themselves.
They are just a small number of successful people who overcame obstacles in their lives to be where they are today. Some other people who persevered and came out on top are: Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Jim Carrey, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Ford, Walt Disney and Sir James Dyson just to name a few.
They are proof that no matter how bad things might look in the moment; no matter how many attempts we might have to make to get it right – we can overcome the obstacles. We just have to want it bad enough and we must work for it.
Our past will always remind us where we came from. Some people however, choose to use their past as an excuse; while others may try to use your past against you or as a means to discourage you. Let us instead choose to be the exception – let us use our past as a motivator to propel us into greatness.
Don’t allow any negativity from the past or current situations to keep you from achieving your dreams. Although our past may influence some aspects of our future it does not control it. We do!
Whenever, you feel like giving up or you feel defeated remember some of these people we looked at today and all the obstacles and failures they had to overcome to make it. Never give up on yourself! Let their stories give you hope and fuel your fire to succeed.
Everything happens for a reason both the good and the bad. Some people come into your life to build you up while others try to break you down. Every encounter has a purpose ultimately it is up to you to use it to make you better, stronger and wiser.
How many of you can say that you’ve never been hurt emotionally, physically or psychologically by another human being? I’ve been hurt and I don’t feel bad acknowledging this because even Jesus had his share of hurt, pain and disappointments.
How many of you can say that when you were hurt that it did not negatively affect you? Whenever, I feel hurt sometimes it affects my mood, my appetite and even my interactions with others. The fact is, we all react to pain differently but we all react nonetheless.
PAIN is a part of life. There is no way we would be able to go through this life and have everything and everyone in our lives be perfect 24/7. It is unrealistic because life itself is unpredictable. We have to learn to handle our pain and emotions in a manner that does not leave us feeling defeated, helpless and broken.
The circumstance may have labelled you the “victim” but you can determine if you accept or reject that label. Take a note of the following, DON’T LET YOUR PAIN…
STEAL YOUR FUTURE.
HOLD YOU BACK IN LIFE.
KEEP YOU STUCK.
FEED YOU EXCUSES FOR STAYING WHERE YOU ARE.
BLIND YOU FROM YOUR TRUTH.
DENY YOU JOY AND HAPPINESS.
SHUT THE PEOPLE OUT WHO REALLY LOVE AND CARE FOR YOU.
SMOTHER YOU ANYMORE.
CONTROL YOUR LIFE.
Some facts I thought you should know:
YOU ARE NOT PERFECT AND THAT’S OKAY. NO ONE IS!
YOU ARE MORE THAN YOUR CIRCUMSTANCE – SO DON’T JUST SIT BACK ANDACCEPT THAT’S HOW IT IS.
YOUR FUTURE IS ULTIMATELY UP TO YOU.
USE THE PAIN TO YOUR ADVANTAGE – LEARN FROM IT – GROW WISER AND STRONGER.
PAIN IS NOT OUR WEAKNESS. IT JUST MEANS WE ARE HUMAN.
DON’T GIVE UP.
Time for the healing to begin. Find your purpose. You were not put on this earth to be mediocre and unhappy. You have a purpose and you have to find it. Don’t let your pain stop your growth or keep you stuck in a rot.
Over the years with every situation I realized there was a lesson to be learnt. Not only about the people involved in it but about myself as well. Ask yourself what is the ‘lesson’ to be learnt from this experience? What good can you take from these lessons? Find it, so you can move forward.