A while back I told you a story about a girl who lived in a world that kept her small. A world covered in clouds of guilt, fear, and shame. A world where the Sky was waiting for her to clear away the clouds and bask in the sun once again.
As I’m sure you gathered, that girl was me… or perhaps you have no idea what I’m talking about… if thats the case do yourself a favor and scroll down to ‘she kept herself small pt. 1’ this will make a lot more sense if you do… then again it may be more fun if you don’t… dealers choice.
I started writing part 2 to that story ages ago. It was based around the idea of Tall Poppy Syndrome and how the culture of my childhood was deeply rooted in it… here is part of the former piece-
Tall Poppy Syndrome or TPS, is defined as - ‘a perceived tendency to discredit or disparage those who have achieved notable wealth or prominence in public life’.
You better believe the culture I grew up in had a TPS epidemic! I’m not sure if it was in the water or a virus on a bender… maybe it was a class in school during the 1950s that taught you that you could only be so successful, you should only make so much money and live in a certain kind of house, wear certain clothes and drive certain cars… if you did otherwise you would be judged ever so severely and talked about in hushed voices behind your back for the rest of your life.
The really confusing part is that parents tell their children “you can do anything sweet heart!”, “you are SO special”, “you are amazing” but the thing is, their words about others and actions in life speak way louder than those subtle, dulcet tones of praise and encouragement.
…but then I had a dream. You know the ones where you aren’t quite awake and sleep has yet to fully come? Somewhere in that space I had the realization that, while TPS was a langue my culture was fluent in and yes, it affected me in ways I still can’t fully grasp, I too played a part in keeping myself small, I was not as exempt and ‘put upon’ as I liked to believe (hello victim mindset, lovely to see you, will you kindly leave, please and thank you). I literally have a note in my phone from that night (making notes of your dreams is a super fun and often hilarious practice, give it a try and see what a weirdo your subconscious mind is!), the note says, “I held the weed whacker. It wasn’t just what was put on me, I chose to accept it.” D-d-d-daaaammmmnnnnnn. My subconscious is HARSH… but also fairly accurate.
This is the brutal truth of our lives. I originally intended to write a piece about how detrimental the TPS culture is (because… well…it is) and how damaging those people were to me… BUT I was then faced with the truth of myself. I accepted their beliefs, their words and mindset. I chose to believe and partner with the voices of fear and shame and allowed them to shape the majority of my life. “Don’t be so hard on yourself.” you may say, and thank you, I appreciate your grace and generous spirit, however, I want to go a little deeper into this concept, perhaps then you will understand.
I left the culture I was raised in (officially) seven years ago, but I lived in that version of ‘truth’ or rather, carried that mindset with me up until about a year ago! Far fewer people had access to who I was, what I believed and how I lived my life in those years… and yet… I remained small, hidden, discounting the success and ‘value’ of my life. Prime example- I literally did a world tour with a famous band (as their groomer) during that time and I couldn’t accept that I was ‘successful’… HOW WILD IS THAT!? My heart breaks when I think about the mindset I lived inside of for nearly 30 years. It was small, judgemental and afraid, narrated by the voices of victim and critic (and they are nasty voices I tell you what!).
The truth is this- I am responsible for what I believe, how I act (re-act, respond, etc), what I think and feel and how I see myself, my worth, my worthiness…my-ness in general. The truth is YOU are responsible for these things in your life as well.
We often get so wrapped up in the voice of the victim, “I can’t believe this is happening TO me!”, “Everyone is just out to get me”, “Don’t they know what they are doing TO me?”… This voice is loud and convincing, but I need you to pause for one second and ask yourself if the words it is shouting are true… really true. Please know -yes- I do believe that others words and actions leave their imprint on our lives, they have an effect, HOWEVER, I also believe that we have power and agency- we get to choose whether or not we accept, take on, believe, or hold onto these words and actions. In a strange way taking responsibility for our lives alleviates a lot of stress… because you stop blaming everyone for everything in your life and get curious instead… you ask yourself hard questions that lead (eventually) to freedom- “Do I believe thats true? If yes, what do I need to change or how do I want to respond?”, “Ok, this IS what is going on… how do I show up in this moment? What actions need to be taken, if any at all?”, “Wow, that is a really terrible thing to do/say to someone. *take a breath* I really think it has more to do with them then it has to do with me… I don’t need to carry this.” or “Wow, that is a really terrible thing to do/say to someone. *take a breath* but they are totally right… I have been such a jerk and totally self-absorbed. I need to take some time to reevaluate how my words and actions affect others.” Taking responsibility asks you to be present, to show up in your own life and not abdicate the role you were created to play or disconnect from the life you were meant to live.
Truth be told it is easier to be a victim… it is easier to play the blame game. I’ve spent a lot of time blaming… And, while I don’t like regretting things, I do regret that. I believe we get information from our pasts, we are shaped by them and we can look at them for root causes of trauma, mental patterns, habits and beliefs… but as Oprah says (via Mia Angelou), “Once you know better, DO better.”… I now know better so I will do better. I will ask myself the hard questions, take responsibility (where responsibility is due) and show up in my own life.
I hope to unpack this even more in a future post… until then, I would encourage you to do an inventory in your life. What blame are you holding on to? Who do you need to forgive? What mental patterns are no longer serving you? How can you begin to root down into your life, so that you can rise up to your full potential?
In love, light, and miracle grow. xx