How do we define success? Webster’s says it’s “the correct or desired result of an attempt”. If we asked ten people what success means to them, we would get ten different answers. For me, success means living the life I want to live freely and happily, and being able to share with family and friends to do the same! I am a very capable, respected and accomplished professional in corporate America and have been for 23 years, so why would I not be able to conquer this goal too? What stands in the way of this kind of freedom? Displaced lies and fear! A belief that somehow I don’t deserve it. The doubt and fear of my ability to succeed. Why is this? Why would I not have full and true confidence in myself since I have succeeded in so many other areas? Do you recognize the false truths in your life? Have you told yourself stories that aren’t true and are holding you back from living your best life? I believe that we all do this to an extent; a subconscious attempt at protection. We can be so paralyzed by our fears of failure that we never even try! For me, I have been afraid of connecting with people, trusting them and letting them see the real me. That it has held me back in a lot of areas! I have read so many self help and confidence building books, and I know HOW to correct many of these behaviors, but I haven’t done the work! The fears of abandonment and rejection are very real for me. This blog is my way of starting the work that I need to put in to live the life I want to live! Here is a little bit about me and some of the lies that I have silenced by finding the truths.
I was born August 29, 1971 at 7:31 am in Corpus Christi, TX in the Nueces County Hospital. My biological mother, Linda Babin and my biological father Jesse Cerna. Young, unstable parents (your average 70’s hippies) that were not able to care for me. That didn’t mean they didn’t love me, but they didn’t have the tools required to raise a child and I was put up for adoption. At 7 days old, I went home with Art and Ruth Lemasters as a foster child. My first and only family; they gave up their fostering license and adopted me. They had 3 boys of their own and it was a full house! I was the youngest of the 4 kids, the boys were much older than me at 7, 11 and 13 (I believe those ages are right) when I joined the family. On one hand I am so grateful and thankful that I did not become part of the “system” and bounce from home to home yet on the other hand I wonder if I would have had a better, more “normal” life somewhere else. False truth #1, my life would have been different, probably not better. Of course we all wonder that to some extent, don’t we? The “what if’s” of life, right?
My adoption answered the age old question of nature vs nurture for me. Definitely nature, because there was very little nurture in my life! I began believing that I didn’t need to be nurtured (false truth #2) and became quite guarded throughout my life. I was told that as a little girl, I was Mom’s little buddy but my actual memories are of being outside in the pasture with Dad feeding the cows or riding the tractor while he bailed hay. I often got in trouble for playing in the pig pen because I didn’t realize how protective a sow is with her babies! Watching Dad work on anything in the garage was one of my favorite things to do! Whether he was building a piece of furniture or changing the oil in the car, I just wanted to be there with him. I do remember helping Mom make biscuits, I always got to cut them out. To this day, I can whip up a batch of homemade biscuits with no recipe, although I haven’t done it in years!
We moved to Southern Missouri when I was 4. My parents didn’t want me to grow up being “brown” where they considered it to be a racist area in TX at the time, against darker skin color. I was different – false truth #3 – I had darker skin, I was not different. We lived on farms growing up, as you probably gathered already, and it was a lot of work! There was always something to be done and always something to explore! It was really quite fun and I am grateful for most of the memories I have from my younger years. This was the first of many, many moves I would experience as a child. I lived in at least 12 houses and 4 states with my parents by the time I was 17. There was a period where we were homeless, living out of our van and a camper in the middle of the National Forest in Mississippi, but that will be another entry all in itself!
I don’t remember the day my parents sat me down and told me I was adopted, I just always knew I wasn’t theirs (false truth #4, I WAS theirs, they chose me) and that I had other parents. I went through a lot of feelings about this growing up. The little bit of information that I had on them included tidbits such as my mother was beautiful, was musically inclined and played the guitar; my father was Native American – mostly true and my mother certainly is beautiful! I also learned some false truths about them. I grew up believing that my mother didn’t want me and that my biological father unsuccessfully tried to stop the adoption and wanted to raise me himself. Seriously false truth #5!! (Years later, I would learn that these things were not true and I will share more around that another day.) Growing up believing that your mother doesn’t want you can really damage your mind and your heart but not your ability to love. I used to make up stories about who my biological father was, but not my mother, because I believed she didn’t want me (false truth #6). I lived in a fantasy land where these ideas were concerned and dreamed of one day finding them both.
I’ve lived with a lot of lies in my head all of my life that have hindered my ability to let people in, to care about me, to care about them…to allow feelings at all. I have trust issues, I am afraid anyone good that comes into my life will leave me or stop caring. These are all very real things for me because they have in fact happened, but they no longer define me. I am overcoming every single one of these false truths, one at a time. I am tearing down the heart walls and will be the definition of success that I want to be! I will love and be loved. I will trust and be trusted. My point today is that you don’t have to let your circumstances determine who you are. Take those experiences, accept them and learn from them. Sure, I could have grown up very differently. I could have allowed myself to feel like a victim my entire life because “my parents didn’t want me” or because my mom didn’t nurture me. Remember, nobody puts value on you except YOU. Who do you want that to be? Are you somebody that you are proud of? Rise above your circumstances or whatever is holding you back right now and do something great! What is your value? Show the world your value – make them believe in you as much as you believe in yourself. Start with you. Love yourself, trust yourself and know that you are enough. That is the truth.