None of us wants to face defeat, and wouldn’t you agree we do everything to avoid it? As trying as the experience may be, your ally exists in the heart of defeat.
Maybe your mind responds with messages like, “Your weak!”, or, “Don’t make that mistake again!”, or, “I’ll never try that again.” Maybe, you’ve actually heard it from a parent, or teacher, or friend. Maybe you’ve lost friends, or partnerships, or businesses, or your home.
One of the ways I’ve felt defeated is in the family I come from. I felt self-conscious growing up one of seven kids and blue collar family, wearing hand me downs, and parents that didn’t finish school. My mother is Mexican, and immigrated from Hong Kong, my friends said she spoke with an accent. My dad came from a poor family, picking cotton, and an abusive, alcoholic father, and fought depression all his life. Only one of my siblings has a college degree.
We always had food on the table, and presents under the Christmas tree. Money always seemed tight, and six kids fought and competed for the love of my absent father, which seemed to me at an early age a losing battle, so I retreated. I felt unimportant in this family, and unlike the rest, and deeply sad.
Hard knocks came, losing two sisters under the age of 50 years old from alcohol abuse, and my niece under the age of 18, then my grandmother, then my father. Grief was kind of all I knew, and I tried to run from it, mask it, pretend it wasn’t there. Oh, I showed up to do hair everyday, and take care of clients, working forty hours a week. Bless their hearts, showing their loyalty to someone who had such growing to do. Each one of them proved to be an ally, developing an intimacy I didn’t have at home, and enjoying long term friendship, even though I was serving them.
At some point, it became obvious that I needed to deal with the baggage I carried. I found a therapist who took that lonely walk with me, I still consider her to be no other than an angel in disguise. There were days I laid on her couch and just sobbed, as there was much disappointment I harbored in my heart. I literally would get in the car afterward, and sit until I could gather enough energy to drive myself home. Somehow I knew, that this was the way through to my own personal freedom.
This raw period awakened my senses to new levels of appreciation for the simplest of pleasures, like a walk in nature, or planting my garden, or talking with a friend. My brains’ messaging about all my experiences of defeat slowly shifted into a message of strength, endurance, fortitude and resilience. Your own ally exists in the heart of defeat echoed in my heart.
The desire to better myself and the determination to make something of my life, and not accept my families path as my own, became a driving force. I wanted to live an inspired life, one with meaning, and joy. I wanted to be my own ally.
Who’s to say whether our lives would be the same without the moments or long periods of feeling defeat? Our parents and teachers, did the best they could, at some point one has to accept personal responsibility and move on. The work is to accept and use the experience to better ourselves. I know now, that to lead a different life, didn’t mean I didn’t love my family and respect their own journey.
Every one of us goes through a dark night of the soul, and this is the fertile ground of transformation. This is where purpose, and meaning, and life calling can be birthed, if one is willing to do the work. Life is still very mysterious, and full of unpredictability, but our relationship to it can be one of awareness. Has everything I wanted come to fruition, NO! Has it meant that the things I want come easily, NO!
HAIRDRESSER EDUCATION TIP
Look back at your life and write down the memories you have of defeat, and with each instance, write down the message you told yourself, and look honestly now at where it lives inside of you.
How do these early, or recent experiences of defeat affect you in your day to day life? How does they affect your relationships? Are you happy with your behavior? In what ways would you like to change.
Our greatest ally lives in the heart of defeat, and it is there that our deepest desire probably lives. One of my teachers once said, “Turn the poison into medicine”. My commitment to being of service, and helping hairdressers was born from this place of deep recognition and unfolding, although I didn’t know it at the time. A renewed sense of purpose sprung up and my life continued to open in ways I could not have imagined.
There is always more to do, and more I want to achieve. It’s not things I want, it is the reward of helping others, of helping you hairdressers through your struggles on the way to finding who you are, help you become the best version of yourself and find true meaning in your vocation and your life.
[tweetthis]”I have big dreams for my life, and those around me.” REBECCA BEARDSLEY[/tweetthis]
Life can serve up a big dollop of humble pie occasionally, or unexpected events can change the course of our life in an instant, and when it does, how will you react? Life will never be perfect, perfection lies in the imperfection.
A client recently shared this blog with me, Arash Recovery,
I found Arash’s journey to be very moving and an inspiration to me. Although, I don’t know Arash personally, his story helped me connect to my heart and sharing his story of facing defeat is none less than heroic. He shares his story with eloquence and honesty. He found his own ally. Watch this TedTalk
Question: How has a major setback, or life change brought you to a deeper purpose?
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