Growing up I was raised in a home that was filled with intense intimidation, criticism, punishment, physical and verbal abuse. Every time I was put down I was completely deflated and felt like a failure. Over the years I grew resentful because I never thought of myself the way I was being told I was. Eventually, my resentment turned into rebellion and I completely sabotaged all of the wonderful things in my life because I was in pain and I didn’t know how to process it in a healthy way.
At 14 years of age, I went from being a straight-A student and an incredible athlete to failing multiple classes in school. I started getting involved in criminal activity at the age of 15. I sabotaged my opportunities for college scholarships and barely graduated high school. I was arrested and went to jail by the age of 18.
I didn’t understand I was in pain. I didn’t understand how powerful love, support and words of affirmation would be on the outcome of young children. It wasn’t until I saw this video by Wayne Dyer that I was completely touched and knew that I wanted to do things differently with my own children. I didn’t want to repeat the pattern of criticism and constant put-downs that I was exposed to. This video changed me as a mother. I wasn’t going to get positive feedback from punishment. Looking at my own life I knew that was true, I was living proof.
My dream in sharing this is that you see your power in the way that you interact with people around you and find yourself uplifting and supporting others rather than complaining and criticizing them whether it’s the people that you work with, your children, your spouse, or your family members. May you be mindful that many people act out negatively because of pain. It is possible that our presence alone can change the direction of another person’s life because we chose to lift them up rather than put them down.
It would be a dream to see more parents, teachers, and law-enforcement officials take on the art of reminding others of the good in them as expressed in this video. I know it has deeply impacted my life and my hope is that it inspires you to act and transform the way you relate and respond to negativity. I hope that you see negativity for what it is: a cry for love. May you be inspired to love those in pain back to health. May you be inspired to be the light in your world.