Am I willing to kill my daughter's spirit?
Growing up, I was afraid to be seen, because if I stood out or got in the crossfires between my parents' arguing, you better believe that I became the target for World War III.
So... I started starving myself to become smaller.
Then, when I didn't know what to do with all that anger, I started bingeing and purging while furiously cramming my emotions into oblivion with food.
How can you truly show up in your gift if what you've learned growing up is that when you're seen, you get shit on?
My mother always compared me to the other girls we knew.
"Cindy plays much better piano — and she skipped a grade! Look at how smart she is!" or "Meg is so beautiful — just look at her," or "Wendy is so kind and respectful."
In these comparison games, I never came out the winner.
I was the one who didn't practice enough piano to get into a recital; I wasn't smart enough to skip a grade and I read too slowly for my mother's taste; and I was definitely not beautiful and too, too loud. I said the wrong things at the wrong times, a truthteller who shone Light where the adults didn't want to see it.
So... I adopted that practice of comparison in my life, where I always came out short. Even if it was only in my mind and this "reality" didn't exist on any other plane than my imagination.
How can you feel confident and content with yourself if you're allowing your present moment power get stolen by the thief of comparison?
I saw and felt real scarcity.
Our phone line would get disconnected because my parents couldn't pay the bills. There were actual holes in the floor where our literal foundation was coming apart. Every conversation my parents had seemed to revolve around how much something cost, how much they didn't have, and how to argue about diving deeper into hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt.
So... I worked my ASS off with two jobs in high school to pay for my SAT classes and college applications. Then, I worked my ASS off with two jobs in college to pay for my Berkeley tuition. Then, I worked my ASS off to get a full-time job and eventually freelance consulting work that brought in over $1200/day by the time I was 28.
As far away as I got from not being in debt like they were, I felt I got sucked back in, because the rubber band effect of me pulling away from my family rebounded when I hadn't done enough inner work to truly break free from feeling that in order to respect them, I couldn't play too big.
How can you become truly free if you don't examine the bonds that your subconscious is using to tether you to what you know and what deceptively feels safe?
I realized today in the silence of waiting for the shuttle to take me back up the mountain in Taipei that if I don't get these stories in check for good, they will slowly seep out in unexpected ways where I will ultimately have a hand in breaking my daughter's spirit.
What is the cost of the stories you're telling yourself? I know what they are for me. And, I can see that the cost is tremendous.
Which is why the Universe has us in Taiwan for a reason.
It's here where I can better understand my parents, where they came from, and how the pressures of a conformist and collectivist culture is at odds with the Western ethos of independence and the ability to be a truly wild and free spirit.
It's here where I can see what I want to keep of the culture I grew up with and what I want to let go of, so nothing hinders my daughter from swinging around on subway poles, because it brings her pure delight — regardless of anyone else's judgments on her behavior or my parenting.
If you don't get your stories in check, they WILL write themselves over and over again into your reality.
Good stories are always told like that. The dramatic ones. The miraculous ones. The ones with full heart and big sadness.
It's how we've passed down information, insights, lessons, and legacies over generations.
Stories are constantly re-told.
You have the power to write them differently. To break the bonds that hold you back. To step into your highest.
And, to live from there.
As Trevor Hall shares below, you can't rush your healing...
But, you can nurture it along.
Nurture it along with me.