On Memorial Day, as we honor those who gave their lives to protect the fundamental premise our nation was founded on – that we as individuals are endowed with certain unalienable rights, among them the right to life, freedom, having a voice, and the capacity to pursue happiness – we are reminded that not all are able to pursue these rights equally. If you grew up living with adversity in your childhood home, you were not fully afforded these rights – you never truly felt them or believed they were yours.
Now, as an adult, you still may not feel entitled to them – you still may not be taking full advantage of them. And that can keep you from living the life you deserve and were meant to have. And then, the inevitable end result is that too many who grow up experiencing adversity in childhood look back on their lives and think: “This is not how it was supposed to be.”
Such lives are hidden tragedies of what could have been. Their relationships are not what they expected. They feel they are not good enough. They haven’t reached their true potential in some or most areas of their lives. Their hopes, dreams, and goals have been frustrated. And their failed expectations all come down to their childhood being the reason why they COULDN’T.
Yet there are some who come back stronger than ever
Yet, there are some who emerge stronger than ever. “More than any other creature, human beings are able to change,” says psychology professor Alison Gopnik. They gain resilience and strength from having experienced a childhood that others cannot even begin to comprehend.
Rather than falling, they reverse a childhood of pain and suffering and go on to thrive in life, achieving magnificent things – overcoming their difficulties, developing their talents, founding businesses, building communities, and creating lives for themselves that exceed their own hopes and dreams. For them, their childhood becomes the reason why they uniquely CAN.
The reason I wrote my book, INVINCIBLE, and also write these blogs, is to remind us all that we uniquely CAN move ahead as well, just as they have, precisely because of what we experienced in childhood.
If you experienced adversity in childhood, you have inner reserves of strength far beyond the ordinary, and the ability to channel all that you have been through and felt into a life of extraordinary fulfillment and success. These TRUTHS are already inside you. What may surprise you is that you may not have been naturally born with them. Your unique resilience, even if you haven’t tapped into it yet or don’t know for sure that it’s even there, developed during your early years because it had to – because you faced tremendous obstacles you had to tackle and overcome daily while most other children were living carefree.
How do I know you have it in you? Because you’re here. You haven’t fallen victim to what plague so many others – suicide, incarceration, addiction. You’ve made it this far, despite the obstacles you faced in childhood and the barriers they put up before you as an adult. This is what makes you “invincible” – unable to be overcome.
Do you believe that about yourself? Do you believe you have the power to change the things about you or your life that keep you from your full potential? That you have the ability to choose your life and future? Share in the comments below.
Happy Memorial Day!