Most of my life was defined in one word:
There was “never enough,” from the time my father died when I was only a toddler. Perhaps the fastest result of his premature passing, was my then pregnant mother’s inability to cope, to care for her growing family. My two older brothers and I learned to fen for ourselves. That wasn’t good enough for State Child Welfare authorities however, and soon, we were all removed from my mother’s neglect and placed into the budding Child Protective Services foster care system in America.
As a result of being plucked from my birth family and dropped into the middle of several temporary strangers’ homes, I grew up with a very deep seated belief that I wasn’t as good as others, that I wasn’t enough. My clothes were not as nice as my classmates. My shoes were not as varied, because I had one pair. My hygiene and self-care was not that of perfumes, pearls and bubble baths…. I learned by comparison, that I was not as good as my elementary school companions because I didn’t have the same upbringing; I was set apart, in my own mind.
My confidence was non-existent. I was shy, yet I was quietly observant. (A child raised by strangers learns quickly to be extremely observant….)
The truth is though, I always had a roof over my head, and sufficient food in my belly. And with one small but brutal exception, I was always warm and dry.
And very oddly, I almost always had a room of my own. Even in foster care, I got lucky that way. And a “room of one’s own” as Virginia Woolf could attest, provides sacred space for pondering and creativity to flourish…. That kind of blessing plants deep roots in gratitude.
What are you feeling as you read this?
I don’t share this personal story to garner pity or judgment. That would be the last thing I would seek from you. I share because I want you to know that if you have ever struggled, you are not alone, and you too can change that pattern.
My pattern of struggle carried with me long into adulthood. It was there soon after I began my marriage, and it most certainly was the theme of my divorce several years later. Struggle, filled the gap inside the margins.
As a single mother of three children who were under the age of four when I divorced, there was no child support. There was no co-parenting. There was only that old familiar energy of struggle.
I’ve slept in my car on more than one occasion.
I’ve feared homelessness on more nights than I can count….
I lived rent-free with caring friends five different times.
I feared the wolf at my door for decades.
With rare exception, life was struggle and I accepted that my lot in life was to struggle.
There were fleeting periods of lighter days, but when my children reached adolescence, the struggle only intensified. That’s a chapter or another book, and so I’ll leave the details at that, except to say that by the point they were teenagers, I had landed my dream job working, predictable perhaps, with struggling single mothers…who were struggling in all the areas I knew too well…. It was, the perfect job for me!
It was as if struggle were my calling.
Struggle was not, by the way, confined to finances. It affected romance, career, health, finances, and maybe most of all, struggle wiped out any potential of experiencing joy. The bare truth is, if I am really honest here, I will share that it wasn’t until I was in the last year of my twenties that I discovered I knew nothing of joy….
…and that’s when my epiphany showed up
I had worked hard and long to support my growing children, until the time came to launch adjusted young adults. It was part of my Utah Pioneer heritage, to “put your shoulder to the wheel” and persevere through anything. Everyone who knew me, knew me as a “survivor.” It was a label I wore well. I survived more struggle than space and my intentions to write allow for here, but just know that if I earned that label, there was a lot of good cause to support it.
What I’ve learned is that the Universe has a way of showing up in the exact way we expect it to. (There is an enormous clue in that last sentence. It has to do with the word “expect.”) When the Universe over-delivers, we either take notice, or we quickly sabotage delivery of what I like to refer to as the “gift.” If we’re used to struggle, as example, and unexpectedly, something really wonderful happens, we may be suspicious, or consider it a fluke. And if we’re smart, we won’t judge it; rather we’ll grab that gift and run with it! And if we’re REALLY smart, we’ll learn to expect more gifts to appear!
That’s what happened for me. The Universe dropped me into the center of a Self-Awareness & Assertiveness Training Group where, among other things, I discovered that I had no frame of reference for expressing “joy.”
Yep. I know it sounds terribly juvenile to claim that I didn’t know how to express joy, but it’s the truth. My life hadn’t provided lessons of joy. When confronted with the task of expressing joy in the group, I was like a bewildered foreigner lacking language and cultural skills while embarking onto new soils.
I seriously knew nothing of the emotion of joy.
I will never forget the look on my own face when that awareness occurred to me. It was the mother of all “ah-ha” moments, the stunner of stunners! And it was at that moment of truth, that life as I knew it, shifted….
So here’s the point:
- You’re probably not homeless
- You’re probably not wondering where your next meal is coming from
- You’re likely at a point in life where struggle only visits, rather than being a full-time roommate
What you may not realize, is that your self-esteem has a direct impact on every area of your life.
When I was made aware of my pattern of struggle, and simultaneously came face-to-face with my lack of skills around living with joy, I dug deep. It was that ferocious excavation that eventually brought me to my core. It’s where I learned to trade in my struggle shoes (which were very worn-out, by the way) and stepped into my new fabulous dance shoes where I have lived in joy ever since.
The Self-Esteem Rub
All those decades of struggle had taken a deep toll on my self-esteem. If I had been a betting woman, I would have bet that the transformation from a life of struggle to a life of joy would have taken years of therapy.
Luckily, it did not.
In fact, my transformation took 12 days from start to finish. 12 days.
And now, every day, especially on days that contain a test of my conviction to joy, I choose joy as opposed to struggle. It’s not hard to do. It’s a simple matter of choice. We all are blessed with the gift of free-will, and that means we get to choose how to respond to any stimuli that happens on our pathways.
So to wrap this up, the rest is herstory…
I went on not only to become a gestalt practitioner, a life coach, and a business coach, but also to be certified in Hypnotherapy, in the Law of Attraction, in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and to also write almost a dozen self-help empowerment books, one of which made me an International Best-Selling Author, and one of which I received an award for Inspirational Nonfiction.
Everything in my life led to my success.
You might say, I turned struggle into pie….
Infinite Pie: From Finance to Romance,
the Parallel Feminine Frequency of Money & Love
Claim your copy on Amazon,
and help the kids at St Jude’s too
↓ when you use this special link! ↓
I share this with you because, although my most recent book, Infinite Pie: From Finance to Romance, the Parallel Feminine Frequency of Money & Love is not strictly about turning struggle into joy, it most certainly is about how self-esteem affects every area of your life, including romance and finances. It’s all of the same energy that comes from the frequency of your self-worth.
Infinite Pie: From Finance to Romance, the Parallel Feminine Frequency of Money & Love is available on Amazon, and if you use any of the hyperlinks on this page, a donation is made to St Jude Children’s Hospital. It’s my favorite charity, and I hope you’ll help to support it with your purchase of this eye-opening, potentially life-transforming book. It’s a great cause, and you’re worth it!
If by some chance you wish for an autographed copy, you can buy it direct through this secure PayPal link:
Hang up your struggle shoes and dance in joy!
Please do share this with your friends that may benefit from discovering how our personal frequency, our individual energy blueprint, impacts each area of our subjective lives. It’s a gift that keeps on giving in the endless positive ripples we each emit.
…and hey, the holidays are coming and it would make a thoughtful gift!
PS~ Are you enrolled in The Queen’s Dozen? Only a few spaces remain! (Remember, my transformation took only 12 days.)
Imagine what we can do with YOUR Queen’s Dozen!
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