There is a reason why we meet a crossroads of challenges in our lives.
You either keep the stories you’ve got, or you find a way to deconstruct your stories.
Those stories you’ve been holding on to for so long are so debilitating and you think they will never go away. But you just need to see a new view, change your perspective just a little. All that happened was you’ve heard the story so often, you have begun to believe those stories are real.
But it’s so far from the truth. Those stories you’ve held on to for so long, are just one version, one cut of a multitude of views.
It’s time to be a director, and edit the movie, so that you become the author of your life. So that you realise you are at the heart of writing your story, re-writing the script, re-shaping the scene.
What stories have you been holding on to and how do you catch them?
You observe. Be a private investigator of your own stories. Watch yourself like a hawk. Listen to what keeps on arising. Write the common words and themes. Don’t make yourself wrong. Just investigate. Investigation is all about collecting the evidence and the facts.
Begin today to really listen to yourself. You’ll have some really beautiful insights. And you’ll begin the unstitching to uncover the real you.
This is why we have parents.
And if you can’t yet grab hold of your parents.
This is why we have grandparents.
You may not want to listen. You may want to discover this world alone and on your own. But if you do, you’ll be doing it the hard way, because your parents and your grandparents have wisdom to share with you.
Imagine they have been where you have been.
There is no stone unturned.
They have seen it all, felt it all, experienced it all.
They have walked, where you have walked.
Let me paint this picture for you.
Every barrier you overcome, your parents are right there. But not for the reasons you think.
See you think something else. You think they are against you? Why do you think this?
Because for so long you have thought you need to prove something to them, or make something of yourself to make them proud of you, in order to love you the way you want to be loved. If only I did x then they’d be off my back and leave me alone and finally realise..... I’m capable.... I’m enough....
Well I’m going to propose that for so long you have got it wrong.
Your parents gave birth to you and you were already perfect, in each and every way. There could be nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with you!
How then would this change over time? You are still absolutely perfect exactly the way you are and the way you aren’t.
What happens is that you forget that you chose your parents and grandparents. You specifically chose them to guide you in this thing called life.
Just imagine with me you had a buffet of choices and you chose. This gives you a whole new perspective because you realise you are not at the effect of life.
You ARE life.
You are a piece of your parents.
You are a piece of your grandparents.
They have the honour and privilege of raising you, of teaching you, of guiding you. Maybe they didn’t do these things the way you wanted them to? But they did and they do, if you could search in your heart, the ways they did and the ways they do.
See the barriers you place before yourself, are your barriers. When you strive to overcome a barrier, your parents or grandparents only want the best for YOU.
So they’ll share everything they know about helping you to overcome that barrier, whether you want to hear it or not.
But when you listen from now on. Listen from a place of acknowledgement. Of wonder at their life.
See your parents and your grandparents as a movie to watch. Don’t see them as the villains but rather as the heroines of their individual movies.
When you take on this perspective, you’ll start to see that they had their own barriers to overcome. You’ll start to see them as YOU.
I am you.
You are me.
You’ll start to see that although their barriers weren’t/aren’t quite the same as yours, they have a story to tell you that is so important for your life journey.
If you’re like me who missed out on hearing their grandparents life journey in person, you have to find a way to fill the gaps. That became the purpose and meaning in my life. To discover the story of my family of shopkeepers.
Remember, what you resist, persists. That means if you’re resisting your parents/grandparents, they will persist.
There is a mirror for you to look through and see. If only you used it the way it was intended - they are your GPS through this thing called life.
Start listening from deep within your heart. Dont interpret or analyse what they say, just take it as it comes. Their only intention in the world after giving birth to you is to be proud of you exactly as you are and exactly as you aren’t.
You are a piece of me.
I am you.
You are me.
If you allow this to sink in, you’ll soon realise that whatever pain you’re going through, they are right there with you. They want to shield you, but they also know that this life will throw you lessons that are meant for you.
I always say I’m privileged to live my life in honour of my grandparents. While they may be gone. I’m still here. I’ll do my best to uphold the life they created for us all. They made so many sacrifices and they went through so much struggle, and now I get to live the life they fought so hard for us all to have.
You chose them. You chose this life.
I’ve been obsessively watching streamed tv shows. The other night, while asleep and dreaming, this one word just popped in to my head - SIDEBAR.
This is the way the creative mind likes to work. It gives me a keyword and says yes this is significant. Now, go figure out why.
In a court of law, a sidebar is an opportunity for a sidebar conversation between the judge and law teams but not to be heard by the jury (decision makers). The jury is out of earshot of what is being said so as not to impact the jury’s thoughts or opinions one way or another.
In life, I see sidebars as opportunities for us to learn from a mentor, a sponsor, a coach, a family member, a friend, a colleague. Sidebars are those moments where it is an intimate conversation about you and your life, that you’re not yet willing to shout to the rooftops yet.
So life is full of sidebars. Notes. Moments. Discoveries. How can we be a world that creates more of these kinds of opportunities? Opportunities for people to have courage and be brave about what they want to do with their lives.
We don’t learn this stuff anywhere. School is not a place where you can philosophise over what you imagine yourself to become or how you want the world to be.
Where are the sidebars at school? I was lucky. I went to high school with lots of opportunities to think differently. But it’s curious isn’t it that if you think differently, in this world, it’s called inclusion and diversity.
At my high school having your own say was ok. You were not ridiculed for having your own thoughts and opinions. I am realising now, that’s how I have become who I have become.
I have a different worldview. I’m constantly challenging the perspectives I have. And I’m never satisfied with I’m right.
Sidebars are also opportunities for you try on something your passionate about. We call them side hustles. They’re only side hustles because we are not yet courageous enough to say THIS IS my gig.
See a state of being or ways of being is not out of reach for us. If I said to you be an author, of course, that feels like a stretch, it’s out of reach. But if I said be connected, be authentic, it’s within reach.
We didn’t grow up learning about this. We can give ourselves the lessons now. Turn your sidebars in to the things that move you and shake you and fill your life with opportunities and possibilities.
In a court of law, sidebars can be powerful and dangerous, a ticking time bomb, no one knows you’re working on this and one day kaboom out you come with your explosive ideas.
Take on the context that life is a game. Since I love my analogies so much, there’s only so much you can do from the sidelines, you have to move on to the court to implement your play. Watch people from the sidelines, they’re itching to get on to the court. But there is also something key about starting at the sidelines, because you can see what's missing from the sidelines, so sometimes starting at the sidelines helps you see the bigger picture.
When will it be your turn to get out on the court?
What is a blind spot?
What do you think?
You can’t see it. So you can’t grab hold of it. It’s not there. It’s the reason why, you’re supposed to check over your shoulder when driving. Multiple times. To check for your “blind spot”.
This morning. I got to see one of mine. Very distinctly. I went out to dinner with my family last night. As we entered the restaurant. There was a check-in process. We are all very familiar with this new way of life over the past year due to COVID-19. We must check-in.
I had a reaction when an attendant said she needed to see the check-in. But we had just arrived at the entrance not two seconds prior.
I’m going to put the next scene in slow motion. Because the only way to see a blind spot, is to slow it all right down so you can observe the moment where “I lost my shit”. So I didn’t lose my shit. But internally, I definitely did.
It’s the moment of feeling powerlessness to the situation. You’re not aware of what’s going on with your thoughts, and feelings. Because you’ve travelled in to a moment from your past without ever realising it.
There is an ugliness to the way of being. It’s not bad or wrong. It’s just not pretty. It’s the moment where you behave a particular way, that doesn’t actually work for you and doesn’t serve you. It’s your blind spot.
In previous times where I may have distinguished it, it seemed a little superficial. But this time I have seen it clear as day. My mind works in peculiar ways. I will go to sleep and ask for insight. The insight arrives the very next day upon waking.
I attribute that to a lot of personal development, learning, self awareness and applying the frameworks I’ve learnt. I also attribute this occasion to my parents being present in the moment. I got to experience what goes on between my parents and with my parents and I.
When you invite yourself to observe and witness, your mind becomes a detective. Looking for the unseen.
So what happened was the attendant said; I need to see the check-in.
I made it mean, “hurry up”, which she didn’t say.
Maybe her way of being was flustered. Maybe she was just doing her job. It’s her job to ensure the customers comply. All of that doesn’t matter because it’s about the moment where YOU” lose your shit” and it doesn’t matter what anyone else does around you - they don’t press your buttons, you press your own buttons.
In that moment, the past was triggered.
I felt pressured by my own interpretation of what happened. I responded in words to her but underneath was the raging bull ready to charge.
Here’s what the bull says, “If she would just give me a second, I’ve just walked in, I’m in the middle of doing it, Cant she see I’m doing it, It doesn’t take two seconds to do, I have to enter seven names, I know what to do, She doesn’t know me, I’m not like other customers, I’m a compliant customer, If only she knew that about me, just consider it’s a lot of chatter in a matter of moments.
Part of that conversation comes up and out loud, and it comes out of my mouth as frustration. Now you might not think there is anything wrong with it. But it’s a powerlessness that is driving how I show up in the world. Not consistent with what or how I said I would show up in the world.
So it’s about me and my own relationship to honouring my word. My own integrity. Which is why I want to observe and witness everything in slow motion.
In seeing this movie clip in slow motion, I’ve also been able to see other movie clips. Your hope is to be able to see the very first movie clip - the one where you make the command. Mine was, “you don’t know me, don’t tell me what to do.”
They are like layers of an onion. The layers show up when you’re open and willing too.
In a split second there are so many statements or commands you are making. When you become aware of them, they can dissipate or disappear. They no longer have to be your triggers.
How can they become just another part of your story to tell?
Often we do things in our lives, without being asked.
There’s a quote right, “You’ve got to dance like there’s nobody watching, love like you’ll never be hurt, sing like there’s nobody listening and live like it’s heaven on earth.”
Well, I would assert, it’s equally the same for everything you do and the value you bring to what you do. That is, how you act isn’t always observed by you as your greatness. But it is.
You act as though no one is watching. You do what you know to do. You do what you know to do and what would be expected of you to do. You do all of this, on time. It’s second nature to you, like breathing.
It’s also called integrity. Integrity is a big word. For me, it’s everything and nothing. With integrity, you have everything. Without integrity, you have nothing. Why? Because integrity is your word. The only way your word has power, is if you honour your word. And hence integrity is honouring your word.
So when it comes to valuing what you do and what you bring to your work life, to your family life, to your communities and to the world. You have to acknowledge the way you operate in this world.
Over time, as you become more aware, observing and witnessing your greatness, you will become aware of your achievements and accomplishments. This means you see it for yourself, without being acknowledged by others. The achievement and accomplishment comes from within you, then you will begin to notice all the great things you contribute to.
You may even have a tinge of resentment lingering in the background because for so long, you yourself have not recognised the value you bring to each and every thing you do. You’ve shrugged it off as “oh it’s nothing,” but it’s something!
When is a good time to begin SEEING yourself?
Of course, NOW!
Start seeing yourself. In all you do. Start recognising where you show up. Where you shine. No one told you to show up. No one told you to shine. But you did and you do. See it. Recognise it. Feel it. Experience it.
It feels like an aha! moment - that’s when you identify a triumph or a win over the past.
You are just doing it. This thing that you do. It’s your gold. Its your talent. It your unique way of being in the world.
Start small and let your recognition for your greatness grow. And grow. And grow.
You were not born in to this world to look for your purpose. Your purpose was to be born and be you. All of you. So do that. Be every part of you, every where in your life. Give yourself permission to shine in all your places.
When you see your greatness - bottle it. Label it. Identify it. So that you can recognise it, again and again and again.
You are the most amazing gift to this world. If only you would begin to see this for yourself.
Hi my name is Angela. I have loved writing since I was able to hold a pencil in my hand. I soon learnt I had a gift of connecting with my ancestors through writing before my 30th birthday.