“We are like birds who were born to fly
But made to believe that we don’t have wings”
I was born into a family of people who were adept at recreating the painful conditions under which they grew. For instance, my grandmother reinforced the stereotype that women are meant to be domestic- cooking, cleaning and baby making creatures who deserved to be beaten if they were unable to cook for their man. Then you had those who unconsciously let the dysfunction of their past spill into their relationships of the present. A classic case was my father who would snap at anyone in the household who gained weight, ate a huge plate of food or failed to do general housekeeping. Interestingly, this was because his mother was a buxom woman who often ate for two people and forced him to shoulder the responsibility of not only caring for his 6 other siblings but also attending to ALL house chores.
It’s unfortunate that our first exposure to trauma is often orchestrated and perpetrated by those closest to us. Before we even get a chance to explore the genius and talent anchored within our subconscious and rooted in our DNA, we instead experience a metaphorical clipping of our wings. Our perspective of people becomes tainted, our outlook on life is negatively skewed and our ideas about self become severely tarnished.
So what about my case? My gift was that I was academically inclined. There was nothing I couldn’t learn and once I learnt something, I inevitably found a way to improve it. My curse was that people often became self-conscious or felt inadequate around me which often manifested in snide remarks, laughter at my mistakes and a myriad of other behavioural traits that stemmed from envy. I lost friends, was often misunderstood and sometimes had unrealistically high expectations about what I could do as a child. When exposed to enough people of ill-intent who make you feel like your confidence is arrogance, your efforts are in vain and your achievements are simply by luck, self-doubt tends to set in. I even thought that going down the route of being mentored would do me some good. It did not. My mentor didn’t take the time to understand my weaknesses vs my strengths in order to tailor support where I needed it most. Instead, she spared no effort in reminding me that I was punching way above my belt and needed a reality check on my hopes and dreams. When complimented by another mentor on how confident I was, she had the audacity to take credit for this when she did very little to boost my confidence during the weeks that I had the misfortune of being her mentee.
As for lovers, they were just as bad. I was a gem and they knew it. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be clamouring to get back with me even years after our breakup. The worst one was a narcissistic toad that I allowed into my life when I was desperate to find my soulmate. It took only 2 weeks for me to realise what a highly insecure and self-absorbed sorry excuse of a man he truly was. He spoke about himself every chance he got and was keen to exploit any sign of weakness. Unfortunately for him, I wasn’t the broken, insecure woman that he misjudged me to be. So he didn’t anticipate me kicking him to the curb especially after I discovered that I was a few weeks pregnant. In fact, he may still be recovering from the embarrassing realisation that years later he still remains irrelevant and unimportant.
So have these experiences clipped my wings? Far from it. I have now mastered the art of discerning what is constructive vs destructive criticism. I no longer look to others to validate my ideas, actions or successes. My fear of failure has been transmuted into a desire to do better and I’ve made leaps and bounds in learning to trust my gut instincts and listen to my intuition. I know the power I possess as a woman and I continue to have an insatiable desire to learn as I grow in wisdom and understanding daily. I now shine my light brightly for the world to see. Whether this leaves others inspired or insecure is no longer a daily concern of mine and I can only pray that my inner growth will help shape a healthy and positive environment for my child. The generational curse of passing on unresolved hurt and unhealed pain stops with me in this bloodline and my son will be the living proof of change. I am a bird born to fly and NO ONE will ever have the power to convince me otherwise. In fact, I flap my wings for good measure everyday that I speak my truth, turn knowledge into action and unashamedly put my gifts and talents on full display.
This bird is in full flight and has no intentions of looking back. Will you join me?