The death of my first love.
At seven years old my Mom died. And yes, I was truly a momma’s boy if there ever was one. Her illness led to a lot of time spent at home with me, and this deepened our bond.
I remember hearing the word ‘cancer’, but to a 7 year old boy focused on the latest cartoons and the prize at the bottom of the cereal box, it was just a word I heard Mom and Dad whisper about.
Mom cried when she looked at a wig to cover her balding head, while I snuck the wig on myself just to laugh at myself in the mirror. Sickness and facing the potential death of a parent has a different meaning I guess for a 7 year old child when ignorance of reality is at play.
I guess as they say, ignorance is bliss.
Until the ignorance is removed and bliss is crushed under the weight of reality. In my case, my mother was gone when I was just seven years old.
Even as I type this I find it easier to type ‘gone’ than to even type out on this keyboard – that my mom was, dead.
I remember the next season of my childhood as blurry at best. My dad was not coping with the reality of his wife gone, having to raise a 7 year old son and even younger daughter alone, and his love for us was met with fear of the unknown.
Because of my Dad’s mental condition in this season, my sister and I lived with my aunt and uncle for almost a year, but that was another realm of chaos and confusion as blending families is not as easy as it may sound.
We were moved yet again, to another aunt and uncle, after a night of manifested chaos.
You may be curious as to what my shattered childhood has to do with persuasion and influence, yet I can assure you it is extremely relevant to the topic at hand.
Through my childhood I lived in multiple homes and likewise we attended multiple schools making it almost impossible to build friendships or learn who to trust. Yes, there was tragedy, and I’m also fully aware that many people face much worse.
Yet, sitting here sharing this moment in my life is pulling up enough emotions to fully recognize it was not an easy childhood and if I chose to lay blame I could find many targets.
The doctor who misdiagnosed my mom.
Cancer that took my mom.
The father who could not raise us alone.
The bullies at school.
I could go on… but I’m sure that you could possibly type out some really crappy stuff in your life as well, yes?
Were you neglected or even abused by your parents?
Molested or raped?
Have you lost someone you love?
We all go through stuff. It can be painful, very.
And it’s not fair. But, it’s true for many people.
So, what do we do with the areas that hurt and the memories that won’t simply fade away?
I didn’t give my mom Cancer.
I didn’t misdiagnose her.
I didn’t choose to be bullied.
I didn’t choose to be hurt.
So in those cases I am definitely not responsible, yet I choose to take responsibility.
I am, because I choose, responsible for my actions and reactions towards a circumstance that has occurred in the past, and the ripple effects from the occurrence.
I could choose to hate the doctor, and I did for a while. I could hate the bullies. I might have even been jealous of those kids who still had both parents alive. I could hate my Dad for what some have said, ‘abandoning my sister and myself’, and forcing family members to take us in.
I could. And at times I did.
It doesn’t change reality to blame people, even when they are guilty. I had to learn how to take responsibility for my personal actions and reactions to circumstances in life.
No one was to blame for my reactions but the man in the mirror.
It is up to me to take responsibility for my own actions. If my response is healthy and productive, then I am the one who is to celebrate my decision. When the responses to the issues in my life have been poor, then it’s my fault.
It’s your fault too.
So, are you ready to dig a little deeper?
Pro-Tip: The unconscious mind looks for patterns and will create patterns to conserve energy and to ensure self-preservation. To create new patterns and experience transformation, we must acknowledge that reality.
We can detect a life of self-sabotage in the way we view ourselves, our purpose, our relationships with others, and life itself.
How about the good news?
In the same way that the mind can, and already has, created self-sabotage, you can likewise use your mind to create self-growth and advancement.
Read that last sentence again, and again if needed, for this one fact can change your entire life!
…From our upcoming series on Persuasion & Influence.
Influence begins with YOU – your own journey and your responses. More will be shared in future articles, and I welcome your comments.