People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered: Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives: Be kind anyway. If you are successful you will win some false friends and true enemies: Succeed anyway. If you are honest and frank people will try to cheat you: Be honest anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight: Build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous of you: Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten by tomorrow: Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough: Give your best anyway. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
― Mother Teresa
READ MORE, BE MORE!
Since my last post about over coming difficult families, I have been getting a lot of feedback from women who has had similar experiences.
I thank you ladies for all your kind words and positive encouragement.
To be honest with you; I was really thinking about taking down the post because it exposed me in ways that made me feel vulnerable but someone wrote to me the following line: " Thanks for sharing your story, many women may not be brave enough to admit it, but they are going through similar issues of verbal abuse every single day .
Some women may never recover from that kind of rejection and YOU encourage me to stay resilient. " Well THAT MADE MY DAY! Because that is the very reason why I wrote the piece! I really wanted people who were struggling with emotional issues such as verbal abuse to lift themselves up! The writer also asked if I used any books in particular to help me along in my journey and the answer is YES!YES!YES!
Something I forgot to mention in the previous post: I may not have a strong family but I have an immense amount of support, people who has stood with me and has encouraged me for many, many years and has not allowed me to ever give up on myself.
One of those people is my mentor who is a successful and brilliant businessman, encouraged me to get involved with sales, business, writing, public speaking and is the first person to introduce me to positive literature.
I have since built on the knowledge that I gained and have expanded my library 10 fold.
I keep my mind active and refreshed with positive literature because: I may be fat, but no one will ever call me stupid, I may be fat but I can never be negative!
Here,I share with you some of the most influential books from my motivational and personal development reading list that took me many years to acquire and study.
The first positive book ever given to me when I was just 17 was:
THINK AND GROW RICH, A BLACK CHOICE BY DENNIS KIMBRO AND NAPOLEON HILL , In this book Dr. Kimbro takes the wildly popular Think and Grow Rich and gives it a brilliant rewrite utilizing the journey and success of notable African American figures such as: Fredrick Douglas, Oprah Winfrey and Thurgood Marshall etc.
Of course after I read that book, I just had to amass all of Napoleon Hill's work.
THINK AND GROW RICH- This book is one of the most sold books in business and motivational studies. It is a lesson in utilizing your natural abilities to accomplish your objectives. Napoleon Hill also penned about a dozen other books of which I strongly recommend reading
THE STRANGEST SECRET by EARL NIGHTINGALE who is considered the father of personal development, you can also get readings of Earl Nightingale on Youtube.
THE SECRET OF CLOSING THE SALE by ZIG ZIGLAR, I own approximately 6 of Zig's books and everyone of them has been remarkable and instrumental to my success in business.
A GAME PLAN FOR LIFE by COACH JOHN WOODEN. From Coach Wooden, amongst other great life lessons I learned that: " If you fail to prepare you prepare to fail!"
HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE by DALE CARNEGIE. Dale Carnegie teaches us how to communicate with others, the art of public speaking as well as the art of dealing with people.
THE POWER OF INTENTION by Dr. Wayne Dyer. I first saw Dr. Dyer giving a PBS special about this book in 2000 and I was moved by it. I have since bought the book and read it a zillion times. You can catch Dr. Dyer on Youtube as well.
12.5 PRINCIPLES of SALES GREATNESS by Jeffrey Gitomer. I own all of the books by this writer. He speaks to my spirit and when I am lost in my misery, I whip out this book and it centers me. I have sold thousands, and thousands of dollars in my career whether I was selling a trip around the world for 50,000 dollars, or a pair of shoes for 50.00 dollars this book has been my golden token, in succeeding as a professional.
There are so many more books that I will share with you in the future but this should be a start for now!
Please don't hesitate to share your favorite motivational books with us!
How does your family deal with your Fabulosity?
A few weeks ago at NJFFW, A young girl asked Toccara Jones a question about her family teasing her and making little comments about how she dressed as a full figured woman.
I listened intently to the question and heard Toccarra respond eloquently but like many women in the room, it gave me flashbacks to a time when I was always snickered at by my family as well.
I was so past that time in my life that it seemed like I was not the same person who was the subject of dirty comments.
So I sat there, unaffected and brilliantly smug because I had made myself into a person who couldn't care less what anyone else thought of me.
If it isn't something positive my brain does not seem register it as useful information.
Most people know me as an extremely positive and supportive individual because I had to be that person to survive in my own life. I am going to put my business out there in the hopes that it helps someone to overcome their insecurities and family drama.
I come from a nest of (fucked up) evil brothers and one beast of a sister to deal with but here I will only talk about the particular relationship between myself, my mother this sister.
From my experience,l realized that the divisions in the home are only reflections of everyday social divisions in society and somehow the universe prepared me to deal with the everyday bullshit obstacles of life.
Here is just some of the issues I had to over come in my personal life to become a confident person.
In the black community, we sometimes get into these racial divides of skin color and inflict irreversible damage upon each other because people seem to perceive lighter complexion with upward mobility.
These issues are alive and well today but especially so in the Caribbean where I was born.
I come from a family that has a variety of species from all over the planet, plainly put we are mixed- breed mongrels.
I just so happen to be the darkest female of the mongrel brood. While growing up, my mother and sister never let me forget it.
My sister is older by a large generation gap and so as the youngest, I would realize that because of my skin color, I could not dethrone her in my mothers eyes in anyway whatsoever.
My mother would say things to nit pick at me and compare me to my sister frequently.
God forbid it if someone made the mistake of calling me by my sister's name: My mother would throw herself a fit: "How could someone make such a MISTAKE?" obviously we do not look alike and how could anyone dare make such an error!
Add in some body fat and you had all the dirty ingredients for low self esteem cake. I mean, how dare me be FAT AND BLACK at The Same Time??
Luckily for me, my father is darker in skin tone than his siblings as well, so he knew what I was going through and made himself a safe place for me to turn.
Outside of when he was home, I was at their mercy of my sister and my mother. My hair, my skin color, my face, even my nose was a problem to them. My upbringing is very strict and disciplined, so its not like I could defend myself verbally. I had to suffer it and honor my sister and my mother because they were my elders.
As I developed into a woman, my large breasts also became the topic of many jokes and insults. This made me hate my breasts and my body but I must have been really slow because I never caught on that I should be ashamed of something God gave me that many women were surgically implanting into themselves to look like me.
As a young child, my mother was a deeply religious christian woman. I on the other hand being a Taurus, I could not be prevailed upon.
I remember sitting in church and witnessing the self appointed righteousness of the congregation and thinking to myself: Are these people for real? So we are all living just to die and be resurrected? Then why did God give me life in the first place? So everyone on the planet is going to hell ,unless they subscribe to your variety of Christianity?
Umm so what about all the people who lived and died before the invention of your religion? and What about the people from India who seemed to like the cow? And the people who never even heard of your kind of Christianity?
These were the kind of questions I would frequently ask my 5 year old self in my head and then repeatedly ask my God fearing mother.
ENTER THE OSTRACIZED
I decided that as a black person, whose ancestors were victims of Christianity, and a woman who the bible blamed for all sin, it was my duty to never become a Christian. In my head it felt like Christianity belonged to the white and fair skinned people and because I was none of those, I had no obligation to worship a white God.
Perhaps if I saw the examples of a real Christian in my own home, my thinking would have been different but I could not stuff myself into the little bottle they created for me.
So now not only was I black, I was fat, and a heathen and my mother introduced me as: "My Heathen Daughter" way into adulthood.
To emphasize how much of a heathen I was, my mother made special obeisances to my sister as if she would somehow facilitate the second coming of Christ because of her lighter complexion.
She was afforded every privilege, from financial , better education, cars and trips to deify her in the eyes of the lord and magnify her against me who was fat, black and obstinate.
Though my sister would have all these fine things, she still felt it compelled to tease, to berate, steal my things and belittle me in public. I was 15 before I decided that I would not go through life with that person humiliating me at every turn and ended our relationship.
I on the other hand received not one ounce of the luxurious life reserved for my sister. I worked really hard and put myself through college. My mother refused to teach me how to drive and that too I paid to learn.
While my mother groomed my sister for a marriage that never visualized: I worked at one job or the other and learned as much as I could to make myself into an independent woman.
It took my sister 7 years before she accepted that I do not recognize her as someone I care to know.
On the other hand when it came to my mother, I was very forgiving, I forgave offense after offense, insult after insult, deprivation after deprivation and sustained emotional injury after emotional injury because I was looking for something that was never there.
I could not figure out what was at the source of her dislike for me because every where I went everyone loved me. Everyone's mother loved me.
I could not understand how come perfect strangers would bend over backward for me but my own mother behaved as if I was the fat black creature from the black lagoon.
I could never say or do anything right, my dress was always too short, my blouse was too tight, or low, or ugly.
My mother never said a kind word to me throughout my entire life that I can remember. Without telling you all the details of what happened in 1989 and that time when I wore the pretty pink dress, I was just not her golden child and I had to deal with it.
Even when I was being awarded for one thing or the other, she made notes to point out that I was either the fattest or the darkest or who looked the prettiest in the room.
If I listened to anything that came out of that woman's mouth, I would be on crack somewhere under a bridge.
If I didn't have a strong father who planted seeds of encouragement and praise in my mind I would have discounted myself almost as much as my mother did.
As a young adult I went above and beyond to prove that I was a good daughter. Even when her beloved fair skinned daughter whom she had magnified against me so luminously, backslid from the church and made her life a living hell, I never rubbed her nose in it.
I afforded my mother the grace and dignity of being wrong without being bitter, because I always knew she was wrong all along.
It took me some time to realize that my mother's religion as well as what she was exposed to as a light skinned woman, played a very palpable part in her behavior, inexcusable but palpable.
Her religion taught that if your husband would not convert, you should leave him (which she did leave my father) and if your children did not convert you should cut them off. I wont tell you which religion it is, I dropped a hint a few paragraphs ago. If you are smart you will catch on.
From this though,I learned that you should receive others based on their merit as human beings above their religious beliefs or financial position because it is the same people that you climb over the ladder on your way up is the same people you will see on your way down the ladder.
HOW I DEAL WITH REJECTION
I am a very funny person, I find the humor and irony in just about everything. I will look dead serious but I have a joke playing in my head of the crap that is going on around me.
It also helps that I am a naturally an obstinate person, I don't think I ever really cared what anyone had to say about me because I knew myself well enough to know who was wrong and who was right.
Outside the home, education has been the only consistency. I realized that friends and family will fail but school work was exact.
If I put in hard work. I got back great results, I looked to my teachers for recognition and basked in my accomplishments. There was no inequality or favoritism in school work and that is what kept me rewarded and satisfied.
I realized that I will never have the relationship with my mother as others do with their mothers because she made war with her own household when she decided that religion was a prerequisite to her affections and that is none of my business.
I will not beat myself up, blame myself or damage myself any further by seeking her or anyone's approval or seal of acceptance.
I have proven myself to myself over and over again that I am fabulous, even if another human being never utters those words to me ever I know who I am.
When I discovered money, it became my other constant, if I worked hard at business, it gave me back money, money knows nothing of favoritism or hatred, fatness, blackness, she only knows how to reward hard work with cash.
Ironically, I am not a religious person but I am deeply spiritual and respect everyone's beliefs and values.
I have a strong relationship with God, the universe or whatever you call it and I keep my mind fed with great spiritual things.
This thinking of equality and human acceptance, has opened up unimaginable doors for me in places where other holy rolling Christians could not dare to tread. It has opened my mind to a dynamic world of philosophies, cultures and concepts where I feel confident talking to just about anyone from anywhere about anything.
It is sad if you say to someone: Let me take you to Japan and they refuse because their religion forbids them from entering a Shinto home or shrine. I could never live in such a world.
Through my own religious persecution and ostracization, I learned tolerance and respect and how to receive everyone without prerequisites.
My thinking has helped me to overcome a great deal of rejection whether it was about my weight, my color, my sex or my personality. I look at my family as just the people that were needed to elevate me to a higher plane of thought that propels me through life.
If you take anything away from this it is that: YOU HAVE TO BE YOUR OWN CHEERLEADER! don't let anyone destroy your opinions of yourself, no matter who it is.
THE THINGS YOU SHOULD LEARN FROM HAVING DIFFICULT FAMILY
Use the mistakes your parents made as gifts to you.
Since I was small I think about things that were done just wrong and I chose to think that I am special, that a lot of mistakes were made for me so that I do not have to repeat them in my life.
Use the stumbling blocks as stepping stones. Anything that falls in your way is either there to crush you or elevate you to another level. I cannot be crushed so UP I GO!
Forgive: Not because I am here moaning about my journey means that I have it in my heart. You are not supposed to forget what happened to you, that is why humans have a memory, but you have to forgive so that you can get the hatred out of your heart.
Be Thankful that you had a difficult time! YES, thank God you had some Jezebels and Delilahs to deal with because when you get out in the real world you are going to need those people skills! There are a lot of people who are unprepared for the war because they never had any battles.
To have great victories in life,you need to be successful in great battles, you cannot win at life unless you have been prepared to fight.
Thanks for taking the time to read this entry, please drop me a line about your experience!
A few weeks ago I put on my Facebook page the following statement :Plus is your dress size, full figured is your body type,curvy is your body shape, none of these tell us who you are. Please take the time to introduce yourself to us and let us know about YOU!
All of 3 women out of 576 Facebook contacts responded, this tells me one of two things, women are either disinterested in speaking about themselves or they are not sure who they really are....make that 3, or they are not confident enough with themselves to share it with others.
I initially wrote that statement to connect with my customers because I have a natural curiosity for who people are, how they think, what they like and what could they possibly have to share with me and vice versa. I wasn't looking for any real answer, I just wanted the ladies to share themselves with me.
I waited for the fabulous women to TALK to me, make me laugh and get me motivated...and I waited..and one answered me, I responded, and waited... and two more came in, the three ladies who responded told me a lot about their relationships, who they were married to, what type of job they did, and children, they had all fantastic things but not one person told me WHO SHE WAS!
Now I have been running this experiment on many women for a LONG TIME, at different times to see the response, so though my Facebook status responses were underwhelming, I have seen this type of thing before.
You see, we ladies like to be bold, brash and loud whenever we are in a group and beat at the gum how we have big personalities but when it comes to showing it to the world, we put our glorious light under the bed, hide behind our connections, professions, education and family instead of identifying ourselves with what is deep inside.
You remember, that person who was born on the same day as you? she looks just like you, she was fun and had big dreams and ambitions, long before she got into grade school. She liked to catch fireflies, played jump rope, and hop scotch, she had fire and enthusiasm, she wasn't married to anybody, anybodies momma,nobodies wife, she was just herself, smart, funny lovable plain and simple and if anyone dared ask her who she was she would say her name loudly, with a big grin, and talked about EVERYTHING she ever saw, did, ate and smelled. Matter of fact, you would have trouble shutting her up!
I've only seen that girl about 4 times in adulthood, an adult woman who was proud of herself in spite of the transition into adulthood and the rough and tumble along the way she was still proud. Proud enough to speak her name and talk about herself as if she actually liked and admired herself without arrogance, airs or shields.
Whenever I encountered such a woman, I never forgot her, because she told me her name, loud and proud: My name is DOROTHY SOMEBODY! "I like to cook, as a matter of fact, I am the best cook alive and I love the green grass beneath my feet and the wind in my face and by the time this life is over the world will know MY NAME!"
You see ladies, while we have life on this earth, we have a responsibility to enjoy it, we have an entitlement to be the person we were intended to be irrespective of circumstances and obstacles.
Unless you find that person inside of you again and nurture her and feed her with the thing that interests her and excites her, you cannot have a voice to say your name to yourself much less others.
The next time someone asks you about yourself: Tell them who YOU are, what makes you happy, say your name loud and proud like DOROTHY SOMEBODY! and don't let yourself forget yourself because you have a lot of value to add to this thing called life.