Presentation by Glenda Gibbs 9-23-11
Thank you for being here with me. And thank you to Andrew Harvey of the Institute of Sacred Activism and Malathy Drew of Whispering Energy, I appreciate the honor to be a part of the Revolution 4 Evolution Collaboration … together we move forward sharing the importance of being a sacred activist.
My presentation title is Illuminate Your Life
Today I'm going to share highly successful methods to assist you with:
· Practical methods and simple tools to use now
· For immediate improvement and lasting results
· Supporting awareness, insight, and understanding for lifelong wellness and vitality
We make decisions every day … most of us don’t question the origin, it’s as though their automatic, and in truth they are. Here’s an example, there are those of us who have $500.00 in the bank, believing we’re broke, while others who have $500.00 in the bank, believe their well off. There are those of us who believe success is defined by the big house, car, and education; there are those who believe a house with a roof over their head and food to eat is better than what they came from, they deem this as success.
I have a story I’m going to share with you today. Pay attention to your thoughts … how you feel and take notes.
There once was a woman who was in a very unhealthy marriage. Physical and emotional abuse along with alcohol …………. She was very angry, she wanted out of this relationship. She believed she couldn’t leave with three children, being a high school dropout; she felt trapped. She was convinced she wouldn’t be able to support her children.
Unexpectedly, this woman met a man with whom she believed was her knight in shining armor – he was different, he was a good man, he had taken the ‘cure’ for alcoholism. This woman still married, having an affair produced a child which led to divorce. The courts labeled this woman as an unfit mother; she lost custody of her children. Very angry… angry at the court, her ex-husband and especially at this unborn unwanted child, this woman was convinced it was everyone else’s fault.
This woman gave birth to a very sick baby; the doctor was strict – this child was not to cry. At 6 months this woman’s father delivered more nerve wracking news, this baby girl had a lazy eye – it was one more thing, she and her husband couldn’t afford. This woman’s anger and resentment continued to increase; she withdrew even more from her daughter. At age 2 this toddler was introduced to her half-siblings as the little girl who lived down the street.
This woman didn't know how to be nurturing, maybe it was a part of the depression era, and maybe she didn’t receive the nurturing and stability that she needed as a child. Perhaps the years of abuse she experienced with her first husband had such a devastating impact only a professional would be able to help. This family was dysfunctional.
A composite of our beliefs
Definition: Our thoughts are a collection of experiences and critical logical-thinking from the environment, authority, and traditions.
Fact -- Emulated your parents’ beliefs
Fact -- Responded and predicted what would happen in a particular situation based on previous experience.
Fact -- A visceral response based on previous interaction
Fact -- Reacted to a situation or person in a certain way and later wondered why in the world you responded like that.
A. This woman resented and resisted authority
B. Perhaps this woman repeated the mistakes with her children that her mother made with her.
C. This woman developed chronic highs and lows from overspending money
Definition: Not learning to make choices and decisions for yourself. It is the inability to trust self or those around you.
Fact -- We believe everything we're taught until we question.
Fact -- Not thinking for yourself
Fact -- Co-dependency
Fact -- Victimization
Fact -- Playing to lose rather than playing to win
A. This woman let her first husband tell her what to do, as he had the job and earned the money.
B. She let her parents take care of her older children most of the time as a way to stay in her marriage.
C. She tolerated his drinking and his disrespect, eventually he became physically abusive.
CLICHE: BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER
Definition: Humans migrate to people with similar tastes, where it feels safe and adage: we’re not alone, we’re one of them
Fact – Friendships
Fact -- Safety in numbers
Fact -- People who complement our personal behavior deems us more likely to have a sense of self-validation, belief in self
Fact -- Familiarity of interests, personalities, social skills, appearances, cultural exposure
A. This adolescent slipped out of the house to go drinking beer with her friends
B. This young woman designed and sewed clothes for her girlfriend so she’d have a friend
C. This adolescent hid her friend’s cigarettes to secure thier friendship
An Unhealthy Family
Definition: A dysfunctional family is a family, in which conflict, misbehavior, and often abuse on the part of individual members occur continually and regularly, leading other members to accommodate such actions. Children sometimes grow up in such families with the understanding that such an arrangement is normal. Dysfunctional families are primarily a result of co-dependent adults, and could also be affected by addictions, such as substance abuse (alcohol, drugs, etc.).
Fact – Abuse: emotional, physical, mental
A. A mother’s discipline includes pulling her daughter’s hair, beating her, leaving bruises
B. The mother resented the child; she deprived her of love and nurturing
C. No one talks about what’s going on at home, if so, the repercussions are traumatic
Definition: Ostracism or exclusion registers within the same part of the brain as physical pain; research shows the effects of being ostracized are longer-lasting because the fundamental human needs are threatened.
Fact -- Compliance
Fact -- Unworthiness
Fact -- Helplessness
Fact -- Stress/Anxiety
A. This child will do almost anything for love and acceptance.
B. This child doesn’t believe she deserves to be loved, if her own mother doesn’t love and accept her how could anyone else?
C. A woman is unable to make decisions, especially good ones for fear of making bad decisions; instead she procrastinates or freezes and does nothing.
D. This little girl fidgeted, bit her nails, sucked her fingers and rubbed the hair on her eyebrows seeking solace… she loved the velvety feel of her stuffed animals or her father’s newly razor cut hair, all ways to calm herself; her mother couldn’t stand the child sucking her fingers. Her mother would yell and scream telling her to stop, mocking her sounds and ridiculing her.
Unhealthy families believe there is nothing they can do to change the situation
Definition: In unhealthy families there is an underlying fear of being rejected and or ostracized. The abuser manipulates the family into believing they are right, threatening with retaliation, punishment or embarrassment. Members of dysfunctional families more readily have problems forming other relationships. Part of the reason is that individuals learn how to interact by watching members of their family and imitate behavior that is not conducive to forming healthy, equal, or functional relationships.
Fact – Some Children of unhealthy families have no contact with the extended family of their parents due to disharmony, disagreement, prejudice, feuding, etc
Fact -- Manipulation, intimidation
Fact -- High levels of jealousy or other controlling behaviors
A. This little girl wasn’t allowed to stay with her extended family, it was none of their business what occurred in her home, the mother told her daughter she had a big mouth, she was threatened the daughter might tell.
B. The family of this woman didn’t like her abusiveness; they felt helpless, they believed there was nothing they could do.
C. The mother demanded her daughter to lie to the bill collectors when they called
Definition: Codependency has many definitions; the most prevalent is codependency is a set of maladaptive, compulsive behaviors learned by family members in order to survive in a family that is experiencing emotional pain and stress. It is a dependency on people’s moods, behaviors, sickness or well-being, their love, and finances. Codependents look strong but feel helpless.
A person who is co-dependent flounders and struggles with issues related to self-worth; uses other people (and animals) as a means of distraction from uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. Typically, the co-dependent person tries to find a good parent to give them what they didn't get in their own childhood. Commonly, co-dependency involves negative feelings of self-worth as well as feelings of guilt, shame, fear, anger and sadness that have originated in childhood.
Fact -- Controlling behavior, distrust, perfectionism, avoidance of feelings, intimacy problems, care-taking behavior, hyper vigilance, unrealistic expectations, denial, and physical illness related to stress.
Fact -- Impulsive: Decisions are made randomly or based on a reaction rather than a thought out course of action
Fact -- Family members try to protect the dependent person from the consequences of his/her behavior by taking responsibility for the person. Typical behavior includes making explanations or smoothing out embarrassing situations.
A. After her father went to bed this little girl would sneak into the kitchen, using a cigarette lighter for light, on her hands and knees picking up the lint and crumbs prior to her mother getting home from work to avoid her mother’s wrath.
B. The mother would go to town and find a good sale, spending the bill and grocery money on fabric and other items, hiding them in the trunk of the car and telling the children to keep their mouths shut. After their father went to sleep, the purchases would be brought in and hid.
C. The children attempted to inform their dad of their mother’s lying to him about their behavior; his response, “that’s just your mother; if you would behave she wouldn’t get mad”.
D. This woman hated the rural community where they lived. Her complaining about it fell upon her husband’s deaf ears as he loved it and enjoyed his work. One day she announced with or without or without him, she was moving to town. Her husband followed.
E. Because of this woman's beliefs, her daughter emulated her mother with the raising of her children.
This girl grew into a woman, floundering trying to find herself. Through trial and many, many errors she knew there had to be something better. With an estranged mother and intermittently estranged siblings and a story most wouldn’t claim she continued to search and flounder.
A social worker came into her life befriending her, introducing her to reading personal development and self-help books. She read every book she could get her hands on. (Prior to this, she didn’t read much as a child, for reading was a waste of time – though work wasn’t); years following she had other mentors, teaching her what being healthy included. One woman in particular befriended her, teaching about relationships and reciprocation, accountability and keeping her word and spirituality.
Helping people was at the forefront for this woman. When she was a little girl, she said she wanted to be a nurse when she grew up. As she grew older, the need to help people continued to grow though being a nurse diminished. Eventually finding her ‘niche’ her passion and curiosity were on fire. She couldn’t learn fast enough. Returning to school as an ‘older’ student to become a therapist she continued with ongoing schooling for alternative therapies.
Here she was … parents with mental health and alcohol issues (the alcohol issues resurfaced with her former husband), death of a baby brother to SIDS, learning and vision disorders; raising a blended family and numerous foster children, reoccurring financial hardships and bankruptcy, returning to school, divorce, stress, stress and more stress and later, an active parental role in her grandson's life, this woman found the inner strength to take charge of her life... learning how to make life work for her. Her mantra “there’s gotta be a better way, what is it?”
While you were listening, where did your thoughts go? What thoughts and feelings came up? Were they of that poor girl? Or did they include what a terrible mother that woman was? Perhaps you saw parts of yourself in this story.
There’s gold in this story. There’s always gold if we look for it. What gold did you find?
When we have a situation that isn’t working it seems to be simple to shift our focus to possibilities and solutions, yet being human this isn’t always the case. Thinking is automatic, we don’t question why we think the thoughts we think, not any different than the woman in the story. She believed her own story, she had a scarcity mentality.
For change to occur, we must question our thoughts, are they really true? Do we have irrefutable proof? If not, it’s time to put that thought in an imaginary box with a lid, close the lid and put the box on a shelf, you can always retrieve it (or others) as you choose or again, using your imagination, press the delete button, putting it out of your mind completely, being sure to replace it with a healthy thought.
As a Sacred Activist, I ask… how do we mirror our planet? I believe the state of our earth is reflecting each of us. I believe it’s our responsibility to acknowledge this and to make a commitment to go within and allow ourselves to listen to how we can improve this state. I also believe it’s within each of us to share, teach, and mentor being the essence of love and when we find ourselves in judgment or resistance may one who is free of that drama offer objectivity. It is through love change happens; resistance met with resistance only reinforces the situation.
I believe Together we can learn from each other; together we can make a difference.
One last thing … remember that child in the story?
There are days where she finds herself repeating aspects of earlier conditioning and she occasionally flounders. Her personal development continues.
Life has been an interesting journey – without all of the events and experiences this story wouldn’t be a teaching tool. This is a story and it’s my story.
Today, I share my passion assisting people with acknowledging and accepting their dark side, their beliefs about themselves, their struggles and assist them into making choices supportive of a life that works for them.
The gold – my take away, is believe in me … symptoms of not believing in me are when I say “I don’t know”, I experience any of the following, fear, doubt, freeze, procrastination … when I’m unable to change my thinking pattern I do a couple of things, meditate and I talk to God.
Illuminate Your Life!
It’s your time to say “YES, I AM HAPPY!! I AM THE CHANGE AND I CHOOSE TO MAKE THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE!!
For a list of tools click here