Have you noticed how everybody takes it for granted a bad experience is automatically, unreservedly, unremittingly bad? That nothing good could ever come from a bad childhood, for example?
I’m hearing the comment more and more often that we have become a victim society. Maybe this is true? Consider…
Don’t we hear these comments a lot? I was mistreated when I was a child… I was a lonely latchkey kid… My ancestors got a bad break, so I’m… I lived in a poor, disadvantaged family… I grew up in a broken home… I didn’t get the proper advantages… I was constantly criticized as a child…
Every one of these comments sounds a lot like self-pity, like “I can’t be helped because I’ve been scarred beyond reclaim.”
Well, maybe all of the bare facts are true, but isn’t it time to start looking for the positives that are buried in all that negative stuff?
Example: I was mistreated when I was a child… …and as a result, I learned to be a survivor and to resist all efforts to crush my spirit. Sure I had some hard times back then, but now, I’m both tough and sensitive. I didn’t learn self esteem then, but I’ve learned it as an adult, and I understand people better for it.
Example: I was a latchkey kid… …and everyone treated me like an abandoned orphan. But it was great. My dad and mom fought all the time, so coming home to a quiet house was a wonderful break, and I loved it.
See what I’m getting at here?
You have the right to take any piece of your personal history and reinterpret it to your advantage rather than to your detriment. You can find ways to turn your past to your own good.
Studies have shown that many children who grow up insecure tend to be unusually self-reliant as adults.
You don’t HAVE to be filled with resentment, anger or helplessness. You COULD choose to feel something more pleasant, at least part of the time. And if you did choose to feel better about yourself, what do you think the result might be?
Did you know this is what many of the most successful people do? If they have a terrible experience, they simply turn it this way and that till they find a new aspect to emphasize. One that makes them feel better about themselves.
Don’t believe me? Go read any great person’s biography. It’s almost a given that winners only become winners after overcoming huge difficulties. And they overcome because they keep trying, keep learning how to control their own thinking until they get good at it.
So if you’ve got anything — ANYTHING AT ALL — in your past that drags you down, angers you or depresses you, you have the right to look at it more closely. You can find more than garbage in your past. There’s gold in your history, too. And all you’ve got to do is learn to look for it.