Anne Lyken-Garner, a freelance writer, writes mainly on subjects of family, relationships, frugal living and lifestyle. Anne authored the inspirational memoir, Sunday’s Child.
Can we love ourselves enough to create a better life than our childhood upbringing?
Ponder on the following by Anne.
Like a lot of families from South America, mine is scattered all over the world. And like many families whose members live in different places, we stay informed with what’s going on in each other’s lives by updates and pictures posted on Facebook.
I live in England and my father, in Canada. I’ve never really had a relationship with him but when he eventually joined Facebook we became ‘friends’ there. I have a half-sister living in Guyana and one day I noticed she’d posted quite a disturbing status update on the site. I was concerned not because of what she said, but because it determined her very fragile state of mind. This particular sister has had a pretty tough life and has been extremely affected by our Father’s misinformed idea of ‘parenting’.
Of course, Facebook is not the forum through which someone should express their innermost feelings. I absolutely believe this. However, sometimes when people believe they have no one to talk to, they feel a little lighter unburdening their souls onto whomever may be listening. Social networks such as Facebook seem to be popular avenues for this sort of unburdening.
My sister left a short message (to paraphrase) saying that ‘people’ should take care of their own kids instead of leaving messages for and debating about politics and religion on Facebook; giving more valuable time to strangers than they give to their own offspring. I saw this message, knew who it was directed to and ‘liked’ it. The next day my father, after having (obviously) seen the status update, ‘unfriended’ my sister for posting it, and me, for liking it. In doing so, he’d proven my sister right. Not concerned with how his own children felt (whether rightly or wrongly) he’d proven that he had more time and value for strangers than he did for them.
What are You Proving in Your Life?
My sister is still struggling from desertion. Me, I got over it years ago. The man is only my biological father, and this was not my choice. The way he treated me had nothing to do with me, and his attitude is not my responsibility – it’s his. I shouldn’t have to bear that burden. It would be crazy to live my life under the shadow of his mistakes. My half sister is still in the process of getting there.
Are you taking on the responsibilities of the people who never honored theirs?
Are you bearing the burden they lay on you so many years ago?
Are you choosing to lay down your life and all your dreams and goals, just so you could live in the shadows of your past? Is this the choice you’ve made?
And it is a choice. Many people – with their actions have made you believe you weren’t worth much; that you didn’t have the inherent ability to achieve your dreams. Are you taking choices in your life to prove these people right? If their actions in the past are still influencing your advancement in life, then you’re proving them right with each breath you take. Just like my father, with the action he chose to take, proved my sister has been right about him all along.
Whose mistakes are you living under?
Whose lack of responsibility or toxic personality have you chosen to allow to cloud your life?
There was a choice. Which one did you take?
There’s still time to choose a different path. Live your life and achieve your goals to the fullest. If not for yourself (in the beginning), do it to disprove what that someone has said to you a long time ago.
Don’t be like a man who allows himself to be blinded so much by the easier option, he misses a perfect opportunity to prove his daughter wrong.
What action are you taking today to prove people wrong?