G’day & Bula & good morning/evening to YOU wherever YOU are in this beautiful planet 🌏!
I was thinking 🤔 about life, as I usually do & the concept of “truth” in particular and lies as well as they seem to be two sides of the same coin.
Lying 🤥, we all do it and have done it over the course of our lives so far.
We lie to others & we lie to ourselves. I guess we could split lies up in to two main types:
1. White lies
2. Black lies.
White Lies & Black Lies.
A black Lie, as I see it, could be defined as a statement we make we know is false. A white lie is a statement that we make that is not in itself false but that leaves out a significant part of the truth.
I think white lies can often be more destructive than black-lying. Think 💭 about it, we all do it almost every single day of our lives , as we consider white-lying more socially acceptable in many of our relationships because we “don’t want to hurt people’s feelings.”
Yet, people complain that their social relationships are generally superficial. Is this the right thing to teach our kids – that, as parents, part of being loving is feeding them heaps of white lies?
Is it right and truly beneficial for the children to not be told the cold truths about matters of life? Should parents continue (& I see this happening every day and have witnessed in many families over the last 3 decades of keen interest) “white-lying?”
So, parents tell each other everything but feed their children white lies. For example, that they fought with each other the night before about their relationship, or that their dad resents their grandparents for their manipulativeness & lack of caring over the years or that mum has a medical problem.
Rational behind white lies is – a loving desire to protect & shield their children from unnecessary worries.
Here is one ☝️ loooong thought 💭, posing questions –
“What does IT all mean… ?
Me, you, everyone else … everyday? The Everyday. What does IT all mean? The empty words .. the useless thoughts … the lies we tell ourselves.. the lies we tell others … the ineffective actions.. the roads, the cars, the buildings, the bright lights … everyday … The Everyday. The thing we call and hang on to called … Life. The Life… … we thought we had … the life we now live … the life we thought we would have… The Life … we would like to Create. What does it all mean? When does Life begin? In the womb ? … at conception? Why? When does laughter really begin? In the womb? At conception? Why? Life … When does life end? When does laughter end? Does life end when laughter ends … or is it the other way round? Does it matter? Does IT begin with the rise of the sun ☀️.. everyday? Does IT end with the setting of the sun 🌞.. everyday? Is the Sun our true measure of time? Is the sun our pendulum of … Life? What does IT all mean? Where does our “time” go? Why do we think being “busy“ is important… is right? What about what’s left? Who gets what’s left? Of time … of Life. Why should there be a “waste” of time, when you, me, no one … can control time? Who makes that judgement? Is it better to fill our time with laughter? Why? How so? What do you believe? Do you believe… that you’re the INFINITE? Why? Why not? Do you believe you’re the culmination of each and each & every improbable moment that led to your existence? And what about the SCARS you carry? Do you wear them with pride? With honour? Like badges you’ve collected along your path … your way? For ALL to see? Why? Why not? What are you hiding? Who are you hiding it from? Does it IT really matter? You hesitate? Don’t! Don’t even allow any of your future precious moments be taken up by “looking down on yourself “ There are enough people in the world who would gladly do this – “put you down … “ So, don’t do it to yourself. It’s not worth your … Life .. That is THE INFINITE. YOU are … The INFINITE. So… What does IT all mean… anyway? What abyss of time does IT fill? IT … The Life… “What does IT all mean?” I curiously ask… Anyone? “
I used to tell people that if I made that person I see in the mirror better than, last week, than last month, than last year … in ten years I will be on the World Stage, standing and competing against the best in the world.”
Within ten years, I stood on stage against the best natural bodybuilders at that time, representing Australia. A Big Dream, come true. I repeated the feat the following year for good measure. As a great mentor once said –
“If you think you can, you’re right … you CAN.”
Don’t ever laugh at another person’s dream, no matter how far-fetched it is.
2.5 Disagree with people, if you must but don’t hate them.
It’s ok agree to disagree and still like someone.
In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling and personal judgements. Leave judgemental comments to God or people who have a profession as a Judge.
He died when I was 19. Six years after his wife, my grandmother died.
I spent a big part of early childhood with my grandfather. He didn’t say much but he had many little “coaching conversations” when appropriate (I later realised what he was doing after he died in my late teens).
At University (almost 30 years ago now whilst doing my second degree in Accounting/Business Management ), I read a book by the author Ken Blanchard called “the one minute manager”. I realised then, that the management style my grandfather was using in relation to raising me and the family household, was the same as what the author was espousing in the book.
A Man’s Man.
The best manager I have ever worked for was the CEO/Managing Partner of a Top 20 Accounting & Business Advisory. I was there for about 3 years and was some of the BEST years working as an “employee “.
This man, was a Man’s Man … a Clint Eastwood demeanour with a Tom Hanks (heart .. when appropriate). His physical presence was intimidating. He was a former Australian ranked boxer and his reputation for results preceded him.
Everyone was scared shitless of him. They trembled in their seats when they heard him coming down the passages and everyone avoided him.
I found him fascinating and I loved him and his management style. I thought about why (after I left) and it was because he reminded me of my grandfather.
I didn’t buy into the fear and the water-cooler stories about him that became part of the Firm’s Legendary stories. So, I decided to “get to know him”.
No need for Sir, call me Bob …
As he walked by the cubicles in the morning, I would yell out – “Good morning Mr E…!” The other staff couldn’t believe it… I actually spoke out snd greeted him.
The first time … I would hear his footsteps pause and … then continue. The following morning, I did the same. He did the same.
On the third day .. he stopped and then said –
“Who is that?”
I stood up from my cubicle and replied –
“Paul ❤️alentine, sir!”
He laughed and said –
“No need for Sir, call me Bob... snd a good morning to you, too.”
From then on, each time he walked passed by Cubicle, he would call out my name and we would end up having chats. Matter of fact, he preferred me to handle many of his clients and over time, we would become very good friends.
It got to stage where, he would only allow me to interrupt him in any meeting he was in. No one else in the Firm could do that. There was a level of TRUST that he had in me that no one else got.
When he had to “Sign off” on Reports and Files … he would go through others’ files with a fine-tuned comb, asking many questions. With mine, he just wanted me to give him the “gist” or executive summary (usually one page of the Risks and my personal assessment)
He would always ask me one question –
“Are you happy with me signing Paul?”
I would say yes or no.
He would act accordingly.
The One-Minute Manager.
The “one-minute managed” approach is to be very FIRM in your values & principles snd DO NOT compromise on INTEGRITY. EVER.
This is communicated EFFECTIVELY. There is no ambiguity. … ALWAYS communicated CONSISTENTLY, CLEARLY and CONCISELY.
Integrity is what most Good Leaders have. But, RE-INFORCED integrity is what GREAT Leaders have. They NEVER sacrifice their MORALS & ETHICS in ALL that they do & say and say they do.
That is the One-Minute Manager…. On Enthusiasm Turbo-Boost. That is what the world needs right now … more GREAT LEADERS in all KEY areas of life.
“What is your message ?” I ask.
What is the message you leave to the world, when you … leave this world?
The one-minute manager approach primarily relates to the FEEDBACK being TIMELY and SPECIFIC. For example, when I fuck up with something on a client, I would hear his footsteps come towards my seat. I would feel his presence snd his hand rest on my shoulder (as I looked at my computer screen). I could sense his frustration snd he would say –
“Paul, you fucked up. Learn from it. Don’t do that again”
And then he was off. He was the first to reprimand me and “pull me in line” as soon as the incident occurred.
The reverse is also true. When I did a great job and exceeded clients expectations, I would hear those same footsteps again …
His hand on my shoulder, looking in my eyes and saying –
“Great job Paul, well done. Keep it up, son! Take the afternoon off!”
My salary increases in 6-monthly reviews were in the top and I had one of the best corner cubicles in the Firm. Many other staff were jealous but … I learned that TRUST is one of the foundation stones of any relationship.
I’ve almost always adopted this Management style in almost all my dealings with people, as an employee, managing groups/teams .. and as an Employer, managing egos.
Do you trust – YOU?
Out of interest, what are your top 3 to these :
1. What 3 words describe your Vision for your business?
2. Do you believe in YOU? 3 strengths you have as a Leader?
3. Do you TRUST “you?”
4. Do have a need to be “liked” by everyone? Do you have a need to be “agreeable “ with everyone?
What is YOUR MESSAGE?
This is one of the KEYS to almost ALL successful communication to any audience: know your message.
I remember sitting with adults when I was a kid, Listening to their stories. They would say –
“Paul, why don’t you go and play with your cousins & friends outside”
I would reply –
“No, there will be time to play with them later”
I’ve listened to hundreds of other people’s stories when I owned & managed my Family Gym for 7 years.
I love 💕 telling stories.
I believe there is power in storytelling.
It begins in the home.
It begins in the Home…. Practising the art of Storytelling, that is.
Home is where the foundation of storytelling starts. I recall listening to my dad & his close friend’s tell stories around the Kava bowl. In the home, I got a strong 💪 foundation… Of a past that lends my existence a place, a sense of belonging, a historical context.
Home is where stories get passed on for generations. I have continued with this 💝alentine tradition. My two kids can retell the stories I tell .. because they have heard them countless times. And as my daughter says –
“Dad, it keeps changing all the time”
And I say –
“Aaaahhh… yes, my dear … that is where facts and imagination fuse in the optimum place”
Home is where I was told that I am built like & physically intelligent like my grandfather, Ben Valentine. A powerful & skilful National heavyweight boxing champion, going undefeated for 3 years in his prime.
Home is where I heard stories of my quirkiness from early age & my creative & innovative nature in my early youth. I heard stories of my country of birth through the filter of my own genealogy.
Struggles, family migrations, family triumphs, as well as ancestral successes & failures were taught to me through the history of my 💝alentine Family.
In my Home now, it is a place where I build my own legacy: through my love 😍 for history & storytelling, I have shared & will share more stories I was told in my youth with my children.
Always, adding my generation’s story to this 💝alentine Novel in progress. I’ve always believed the REAL histories of families aren’t the records of births, deaths & marriages. No, to me …
… they are the stories told after dinner, while having chocolate or dessert. So full and satisfied.
For i have learned many things so far, and one important one is the importance of LEGACY.
Legacy is fueled by US… in our family. It is fueled by ME. And all this evolves from our history… our family stories passed down …
Life is a succession of deals. The three key components of any deal are: an offer, an acceptance and a consideration. We’re constantly making deals every single day of our lives and some times, we aren’t even aware of them. We are constantly improvising, compromising and committing snd re-committing or leaving the many agreements we make.
What is the worst deal in history?
What is the worst deal you’ve ever made? Did you get the “short-end-of-the-stick?” How short?
We’ve all made bad deals in our life so far, haven’t we? If you have not, you’re one of the lucky ones. Or are you?
Think 🤔 of all the worst deals you’ve ever made… snd then, all the worst deals ever made in the history of the world 🌎 to date …
I repeat, nothing compares to or even comes close to the ULTIMATE DEAL… you, me and every person who has ever been born, have by default, made.
A possible solution to this “Bad Deal”: FOLLOWING GOD.
“And what do I mean?” You may be thinking.
Well, it literally means to – follow in His footsteps as we walk through life. “Following God” is another term for “being a disciple.” I think it entails having unwavering belief in God, loving him, faithfully sticking to Him … very importantly – obeying him.
Here’s the huge challenge for many –
You see in this age of abundance, some people are enjoying “the good life” right now, and are soaking in its comforts & pleasures. They’re quite satisfied by what this world has to offer. They struggle to understand the difference between needs and greeds.
But, most of us, I feel, are tired of the hardships, injustices, suffering, pain & sorrows of this life. I know we all don’t wish all this continues without an end in sight.
But… many cannot fathom the thought of life ending permanently. Many simply want to LIVE ON.
Is that such an impossible ideal?
For those that think that Living Life is supposed to be about being eternally happy with no problems at all. This is not the case. They chase happiness. But this is a big mistake
How does God reconcile this?
You see, Jesus said that following Him would be rough at times. He therefore warned us that we’d need to deny ourselves many things, exercise self-control, & think more about others & less about ourselves.
I think I this is a critical step to renegotiating the original Bad Deal with God… FOLLOW GOD. Be his disciple.
To me, one of the most uplifting benefits of FOLLOWING CHRIST … is the SIMPLICITY it brings to the COMPLEXITY of life. Through this … we experience true hidden WONDER.
What if … BELIEVING IN & FOLLOWING GOD brings you CLOSER to HARMONY with his FREQUENCY and …
The OLD “bad” Deal becomes the … NEW “Good” DEAL where ETERNAL LIFE is your ULTIMATE REWARD? Where you experience UNLIMITED POWER.
As the great thinker & philosopher, Nikola Tesla said –
“The Gift of Mental Power comes from God… the Devine being, and if we concentrate our minds on that TRUTH, we become IN TUNE with this great power.”
The critical question now is … is your mind ready for this inflow of information… is mankind’s LIMITATIONS OF MIND a severe handicap to accepting this Great Power that is UNLIMITED?
Success for you means you need to Prepare YOU.
Are you ready to negotiate a better deal? Have your prepared your Mind to act as a repository of UNLIMITED POWER? And have ETERNAL LIFE.
As the disciple John said – John 3:16 :
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone that believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
In a sense, this is how God reconciles things.
Here’s a tip: FOLLOW GOD. Be the best DISCIPLE you can be.
For some, life can feel empty if they don’t find or grasp a higher calling… a “purpose” in life. These are the people who seek for answers in all kinds of places, some of which would be less than ideal.
Here is the thing about these types: They know they are looking for something, but they don’t really know what it is. Almost like a headless chook.
They have lost their zest for life … that essence of life, I call Vitality.
To me, purpose gives the Individual, hope … the strength to continue past obstacles and unexpected changes we face every day. In some views of life, hope is all we really have.
To find Purpose, I believe one has to find it WITHIN… but get inspiration, EXTERNALLY, from others.
Everyone looks to better themselves & strive to live a BETTER LIFE. Most think that to do this, they need to only acquire more VALUABLES.
Change your viewpoint: life should not be about acquiring more Valuables, instead, should be about making yourself more VALUABLE. We are alive on this planet to primarily, GIVE or express ourselves through sharing, in some creative outlet.
For me, it is GOD.
Success, like happiness, cannot me pursued. Release all desires to achieve success as a self-promoting goal/target. This route, taken by many will not give you the opportunity to live a FULL LIFE. It won’t bring you full success.
Success, true success, in any field, only comes through the pursuit of something greater than you … an ideal… a standard that allows you to surrender to a higher power.
Life’s purpose does not require intense cognitive power. It is not something that you can THINK your way to discovering. Thinking leads to overthinking, which is what many in this left-brain dominated modern societies celebrate – should I try this? What if it turns to failure? Would this work? What if it does not bring income? and leads to non-action or procrastination.
From my experience, I can gracefully admit and share that there is NO “ONE WAY” … THE WAY for me was not Found by simply looking for it… but by DOING IT… by LIVING what I LOVE TO DO.
This Diamond called CLARITY.
Success, in life (& any pursuit in life) comes to those who face their fears and TRY NEW THINGS… without being glued to the end result. What you get, then, is something that is a KEY foundation stone to your building of success: CLARITY.
If is only when you take on the role of the VIKING or PIRATE 🏴☠️ in you, that you sail out to EXPLORE uncharted seas. It is through exploration that you discover this gem … this diamond called CLARITY.
Results come only with repeated ACTIONS, done with sufficiency and appropriateness. Wondering and dwelling on what to do and not actually “doing”, pushes you even further away from reaching your ultimate purpose in life.
In finding my path, for example, I stopped watching tv many, many years ago. And as modes of communication increased, I taught myself to block more of these modes out. Just as I manage what I eat for my body for optimal physique conditions, I manage input into my brain.
Beginning with me, myself snd i snd the Holy Trinity within me : the Father, the Son & the Holy Spirit. I did and tried everything – fine-line sketching, body sculpting, writing poetry, writing books, photography, blogging, podcasting & public speaking…
I even tried doing NOTHING…. Snd appreciating the emptiness of nothing…. Ams trying to create SOMETHING FROM NOTHING.
There is now CLARITY, where confusion existed. There is PURPOSE where once was WONDERING and over-thinking.
The WAY to find your purpose is NO WAY. It all comes down to energy .. to that life source … to Vitality, the “essence of life”. The source for this brave discovery you intend to make is from the whispering of your heart.
You will experience more joy .. snd more inspiration when you listen to and follow the guidance of your heart. Here’s the challenge: you need to not only listen, but listen, WELL.
Energy is your fuel and you can find this energy to live … to live out your dream 😴 with purpose and meaning. The next step is to explore creative and new ways of expressing and sharing this energy of creativity that comes from within.
Embracing Passionate Living.
I’ve helped hundreds … no, thousands of individuals for close to 30 years now, many of these people the top of their fields … very successful in their own right.
But, I have noticed that sometimes, at the top of their success wave, some of these individuals acted and felt as if there was still something missing in their lives.
I heard many reasons why they felt that way. I strongly felt (for some of them), that they were feeling that way because they were trying to stay with the one thing they thought they were meant to be doing.
I felt that this way of thinking 🤔 was a self-imposed ceiling … a self-limiting belief … that blocked their journey towards reaching their full potential.
I don’t just consider myself – an enthusiastic World-Class Problem Solver or a 2 x World Natural Physique Champion … I actually wear many hats and play many roles … so apart from being a husband of 20 + Years and father to two kids …. I create.
I love creating through many mediums of expression: I actually create in multi-media, I sculpt, I design, I write (blogs & poetry & books), I coach, I conduct virtual talks & seminars, I design & create my podcast, I fine-line sketch, I educate and share “coaching conversations”, I dance & I do martial arts 🥋, and share NUGGETS OF VITALITY … but most of all …
I continue to DREAM 😴… and fuel my IMAGINATION. My goal is always to not only continue to imagine, but to IMAGINE, BETTER.
All of these constant daily activities brings me joy and helps express my PASSION FOR CREATING.
Here’s a little secret to living a BETTER LIFE: consider learning to and embracing PASSIONATE LIVING. Work towards doing what you truly enjoy doing and this, I believe, will guide your path towards finding Purpose.
Sometimes, you need to simply jump in and giving things a try. Sometimes, we just need to shoot before we take aim. Sometimes, picturing yourself after having “giving it a go”‘and thinking or saying our loud –
“Just DID IT!”
Would bring you an amazing sense of satisfaction. It is the DOING and the courage required & summoned that is the way to overcome the feeling that you are missing out on life.
There are endless opportunities in life and is only limited by your imagination.
And through this discovery, through this courageous Viking/Pirate adventure, you will also realise that it is a JOURNEY TO LOVE 💕. It is this journey that is the process of becoming increased AWARENESS , to fully be AWARE of this flow of the essence of Life .. of this Vitality … this Energy from your heart.
Here’s my tip: BE MORE LIKE A VIKING and/or PIRATE 🏴☠️.
This energy … you won’t see it … and it is not something that is tangible as what you can taste, smell, weigh …
It is more something that you FEEL… that comes from within … something INTANGIBLE.
Be awake when that message comes.
All the very best in being more like a Pirate & Viking… as you sail and Captain your ship through the changing seas of life.
Where has time gone? Ten years went by … .like a blink of an eye. Memories… that is all we have … shared memories.
We have many.
He knows he will always have a home.
He has spent his first ten years of his life, with me, his mother and his sister. Spent it in our home .. which is HIS HOME.
I like to think that his home is a place of celebration, a continuous celebration of Life. His home is the place where he can let down his hair and just be, himself. His home is where living happens and laughter rocks the walls.
I’d like to think that his home is the place where he learns to play, to have fun, to relax, to love and … to pray. Each day in our household is a celebration. Everyday, our Family prayers allows us to reflect on our life so far … with GRATITUDE.
There is an abundance of laughter in his home. So loud that it carries all the way to the streets and neighbours.
His home is where Real Living, takes place.
He learns how to work, how to play, how to eat, how to ride in cars together, how to attend Taekwondo lessons, how to play music in bands virtually, how to watch youtubes and videos, how to host friends, how to take care of his self, how To be a better brother, how to be the loving son that he is, how to develop our own private family jokes (usually they love “roasting’ me).
In our home .. his home, we try not to take life too seriously. In our home … a home of celebration we thrive in conversation and accept that humour and laughter is essential elements to our Family cohesion.
Our home … his home … vibrates to us and to everyone around us that …
“This is what life is all about. In a nutshell, life is what happens in our home … it is where he is celebrated.”
Home is where …
My son … has his Nintendo game, his soccer and rugby balls, his books, his swords, his toy guns, his snacks.
Home is …. Being able to walk around in his undies all day … home is Eating cold watermelon and tropical pineapple together at the dinner table on a winter day. Home is where he is allowed to yell … to get angry … and it is ok. Home is where he can play wrestle games in the bedroom and backyard and come out of it … unscathed.
Home is where he gets unlimited hugs and kisses and learns about the important things in life. Home is where he learns how to agree to disagree and resolve conflicts.
Home is where he learns to be appreciated and listened to. Home is where his strong sense of self … his powerful self image … his confidence is built. Home is where he understands his responsibilities to contribute to the family to make it work … that little things, matter.
To sum up … I hope my ten year old son learns much … in our home .. his home.
One day, I hope, he would look back and realise that home is where he discovered wonder and learned to not only Dream … but …. To Dream BIG. One day, he remembers to repeat some of … OUR traditions … OUR unique family qwirks … our UNUSUAL ceremonies.
I hope that one day, my son looks back and views his time in his home .. our home as a period where he not only FOUND but …. EXPERIENCED, JOY.
With … his dad (me), his mum, Cathy, his sister, Olivia and our pet schnoodle : “Mr Fussy/Fuzzy Cuddles”.
My biological mum had me before she turned 16. She had a choice to have an abortion but chose to give me life. Being so young and incapable, her parents (my grandparents) decided to raise me as their own.
Because of the societal norms at that time, I now understand that my grandparents adopted me as their own, in every sense of the word. They were the best Parents any kid could wish for. My “mom” (grandmother) died when I was 12. It felt like the end of the world to me because she was the word to me.
She was caring, compassionate and loving 🥰 & very strong (usually welcoming in strangers and the homeless. She would clean them, clothe them, feed them and give them a place to sleep for a short while … and give them a little help on their way.
Some of the Strangers we helped, would return, sometimes years later, to offer money and thanks for her (& my grandfather’s unsolicited care & hospitality when they had hit a “rut”). I recall seeing the turnaround in the individuals and the impact my humble grandparents and their kindness gave them.
A whole new lease of life.
My grandmother was my first role model of a loving & strong independent woman. I really loved her full body massages she gave me to wake me for school almost every morning. This is where my penchant for hugs 🤗 & kisses originated. I thank her for that.
In my pre-teens, my biological mother’s sister (my Aunty) stepped in and assumed a “mother” role for me. She showed me a second type of strong woman. She was a woman’s woman.
My Second Mum: the Ambitious Career Woman.
She wasn’t too lovey-Dovey like my mum # 1. She was very ambitious and career-focused and very risk-averse. Very strategic and almost always chose a conservative approach to many things. Her thing was – “don’t rush life, Paul”.
Two things were important for her – good education and making money. She was very successful and raised me in very rich surroundings in my teens. I learned and experienced life through very wealthy lens and feel very fortunate to have done so. Not many children grow up in a 3 car-garage, 3 storey 6 bedroom mansion with a pool. My bedroom even had its own bathroom and walk-in wardrobe.
I only got to know my biological mum after an uncle broke the “news” to me two weeks before my Final Exams at High School. We had a heated argument and he let out the “truth”. In hindsight, Not the best time. I wish he had waited until I had finished my exams before telling me that the first 17 years of my life was a lie. That my grandma was not my mother and that my “older sister “ was in fact, my real mother!
I was shattered. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing .
I locked myself in my room for a whole week… trying to come to terms with this bomb 💣. I cried a river in my room…. Everything I ever knew … about my family … about my life … was a lie. Who could I trust? Why is this happening to me? I was angry at everyone… they all played a part in the lie.
It had a significant effect on my High School Results. Negative. I was aiming to be in the Top 10 but I failed. I think I made the Top 20. In the whole scope of life, the mark I got didn’t matter. I still got to do what I wanted to do at University.
That was a first. Me, getting to University in my immediate and extended families. The ceiling in academia was High School… but I raised it … and still raising it.
It’s been almost 30 years since I learned of this truth. Along the way, I learned that many other individuals have experienced similar situations. Some famous like Jack Nicholson, who only found out that his older sister was in fact, his mother. He only find out in his late 30s when a reporter dug up his background for a story on him.
In many cultures, especially in Polynesian cultures, “step in”. Grandparents generally stepped in to protect the child and give them every opportunity to succeed. They did. I got all the love and attention any child could have. I am very grateful for the unconditional love life they gave me.
They were my parents and friends & family and schools & teachers and anyone I ever interacted with all played their roles.
You could say my first 17 years was a lie.
That’s ok. Every family has their “secrets” and “skeletons in the closet”. What are yours? Do you have any? Is your whole life “the whole truth & nothing but the truth?” Is the truth better than living a lie? What if living the truth disadvantages you more? Would you then choose to live a lie? If you had the choice?
My Third Mum: the Risk Taker. Biology Matters.
The choice was made for me. Her choice to give me life rather than get an abortion.
And it was made with love snd for my benefit and protection. An unselfish choice by my biological mother in playing her role as my “older sister “.
It was only in my later years that I realised how amazingly courageous and unselfish she was to live in the same household as me … and stop herself from playing the “mum” role to me.
I had many arguments with her and told her off on many occasions. I would see her run into the bedroom, close the door and I’d hear her crying. She wouldn’t cry in front of me or argue with me.
Remember, she was my older sister to me. Little did I know then … who she REALLY WAS. This is the Mum that didn’t always make decisions logically because she usually made it with her heart. She was a “thinker”, the most academically gifted of all her siblings. A rebel, a risk-taker.
I buried my biological mum in 2011, 3 months after my son, Zachary was born. Like my grandmother, My biological mum, Margaret, died from cancer within 3 months of being diagnosed. Aaaahhh… the Circle of Life, as they say.
She did not live long but she epitomised what courage is to me. What a brave woman, who lived & died, with integrity & dignity.
THE OLD HAS GONE, THE NEW HAS COME!
The Bible has been a big comfort for me all my life. It gave me strength in those years (18 – 22) that I refer to as my “lost years “. It was always a source of inspiration and strength for me … in the many times I needed courage.
We have been gifted not only from our genetic background but also by the environment in which we were brought up. Each of us were formed by all the people who have made an impression on us.
From the people who gave us affirmations (like my grandparents did for me) to the people who put us down or belittled us. The former types gave us a positive view of other human beings and the latter, a view that fed our uncertainty about ourselves and … others…
Genesis 1 relays a story that God created living things to bring forth according to their own kind. So, not only are we likely to look like our parents but it is likely that we will embrace life’s challenges just as our parents did.
“So God created man in his own image.” (Genesis 1:27)
So, i/we were not only created in our parents image but also in God’s.
Yes, we all have our past (and even if part of it was not lived in truth like mine), take comfort that we also have God (if you’re a Christian). I spent 8 years as a Catholic Altar boy in my early youth and one phrase that sticks in my mind is –
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the NEW HAS COME!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
This verse has always given me comfort. Especially, after I learned of certain truths at 17. I get Comfort in knowing that the curses and the distortions and sins of previous generations does not hold me back. That it does NOT MAKE ALL “ME”… that I can release the OLD… to make room for the NEW.
We are Built in God’s image. Something that I can … we can ALL use as a springboard to being the BEST VERSION OF OURSELVES.
Yes, We are trapped with our old us … the past experiences… and the good (& imperfections in genetics 🧬 passed down to us) ….
With the knowledge and belief that we, as Christians, are also created in the image of God, gives all of us I mmense COURAGE…. And hope … and belief… that we have a huge capacity to change!!
You are unique! Believe it so…. And you can change!! We ALL CAN!!
But, this is not easy and TAKES COURAGE and … a lot of WORK! In my experience, You MUST TAKE CHARGE of your life! You must stop saying –
“I’ll always be the same … I’ll never be different “
Instead, you should begin saying –
“I CAN be different because of God’s love 💕 working in me.”
DO NOT FEAR CHANGE especially if the change is to make you all that God wants you to be.
When you decide to Invite Christ into your life, know that you have been re-born… snd the Holy Spirit will guide you.
I know I have been “re-born “ many times … in my life, so far. When I reflect, I was very fortunate to have been influenced by three strong & courageous women. They were all different and they were women who loved me differently but all had strong values & principles.
I may have lost two Mums, but there still remains one. Something many cannot say. I will continue to love this Mum that is still alive today….and the other two Mums are always with me in spirit.
Thank you God. Amen.
Ask yourself for God’s guidance and he will answer.