+ helps where help is needed without complaining.
+ is appreciative of the shelter, food, and clothing even when it is cramped, overcooked, and out of style.
+ puts family first and her own needs last.
+ doesn’t whine or draw attention to herself.
+ shows up even when she’s ill, injured, or in need of rest.
+ is well-revered by teachers and community leaders.
+ makes her family look good.
+ has no struggles of her own.
She is the shining star.
I carry these non-truths with me as whole-truths – as the Holy Grail. For nearly four decades, these non-truths have silently led me to a life of submission, a life where I showed up as expected and gave unto others as I would never allow others to give to me.
Until prompted by @glennondoyle to #getuntamed, I never questioned my role as a daughter, or how the role that was scripted for me as a child continued to impact the roles I play now as an adult.
Every woman, mothers especially, can attest to the martyrdom. We give until there is nothing left to give. We pour our heart and soul into all those around us, leaving ourselves with the little dribbles of life left at the bottom of the barrel. We wear ourselves thin caring for others, but so often fail to turn that caring heart onto our own soul. Worse, we don’t even know how to care for our own soul.
But why? Why do we do this to ourselves?
It wasn’t until I stopped to question the messages I received as a child when I realized that I am showing up exactly as I was trained. I have, in fact, earned the gold star.
But what gold star?
The gold star of “Perpetual Martyrdom” or “Selfless Sacrifice”?
Those are not gold stars I want to don. Nor would I pin that star to my daughter’s lapel.
It’s time to unearth the messages we carry with us from childhood and inspect them wholly. Are these messages serving us? Is this how we want to show up in the world?
We can’t change the lessons we learned as children, but we can choose the lessons we continue to carry forward.
??Spill your beans: What does it mean to you to be a “good child”? ??
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