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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Yet Still...I Give My Consent

There's a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt I keep over there to the right on this blog that I think is so introspective, wise and just very, very true... 

"No one can make you feel inferior
 without your consent."

I believe that with all of my heart.  Yet I still struggle with the concept on a daily basis. Comparing ourselves to others is not healthy nor productive so why do so many of us do it? There is always going to be someone a little prettier, a little smarter, a little wittier, a little more creative, a little more charismatic. Or a lot more of whatever particular trait/talent we are currently obsessing over. 

I've always been guilty of it.  Sometimes more than others but that nagging voice of insecurity is always there whispering in the background and trying its best to put the smack down on me and leave my soul in a funk. 

There are just some individuals in this world who appear to be blessed with an abundance of natural gifts and talents.  They appear to know just what to say and just when to say it and success seems to follow them wherever they go.  Things come easy for them.  Or at least that's the way it looks to the rest of us who find ourselves struggling to even discover what our true gifts are.  And even wondering, at times, if we ourselves actually possess any.

When I graduated high school (way back in 1989), I had no idea at all what I wanted to do with my life.  None.  I knew I was going on to college...a community college, followed by a university... but I had no inkling whatsoever as to what my major would be.  I assumed it would come to me once I began taking various courses.

It didn't. 


Finally, I made the decision to major in Criminal Justice but really only because it was the least boring class to me at the time. And after graduation I found myself working at a finance company...  making loans, collecting payments, and everything else in between. 

And I hated it.  With an almost burning passion.  

I went on to become a mother and then into business with my friend who owned a florist and while I quickly discovered that I was pretty good at designing/arranging flowers, it was not something I felt I was born to do for the rest of my life. And the business end of it? Was like a thorn under my pinkie nail.  

Since May of 2003 I have been a stay home mom. And I am thankful for the opportunity...

When Darin died in December of '03 my world was, of course, thrown completely off center and I found myself in a state of bewildered shock, grief, denial and the most overwhelming pain imaginable. It was as if I was drowning and just when I thought the pain was about to subside, someone would push my head back under water again.  And again.  And again. And yet again.  

Yet, as painful and trying as those days were, it was during them that I began to discover and truly see the best parts of myself.  I was tougher than I thought.  Stronger than I thought. Steadier than I thought. Better than I thought.

By the grace and love of God and the strength and power of my own spirit, I finally made my way out of those rough waters and began my life anew.  But going through something like that changes you forever and in ways you cannot even imagine until you yourself have lived it.  

For quite some time you are (or at least this was true for me) so darn proud of yourself that you just want to walk around patting yourself on the back and shouting to the world how you overcame that big, bad, nasty, life storm.  

Then one day you start to forget...not the grief and the pain or the person or whatever it was that you lost... but you start to forget how proud you were of you and that self doubt and inferiority complex creeps back in as you once again begin to compare yourself and your abilities to others...and ask yourself questions like, What truly great thing have I accomplished lately? or Am I setting a good example?...being the best me that I can possibly be by putting my true gifts to good use for the sake and benefit of others? 

I still don't know what my true, natural talents spiritual gifts bestowed upon me by God...the ones I'm supposed to be using to make the world a better place.  There are a lot of things I think I'm okay at or even pretty good at. But exceptional at?  I'm still searching for that one while trying to remember and take to heart those wise, wise, words of Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt...

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."...

**Linking this post up with Shell today for Pour Your Heart Out.

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  1. My oldest daughter is reading a book about Eleanor Roosevelt, right now. I will let her read this post. I'm sure her paper, that's due tomorrow, isn't finished. Maybe it will help motivate her.

    I think most of us struggle with that. I mean, I know what I'm here to do. And, I'm doing my dream. But, I wonder, almost daily, "how can this be my dream when I am so ill equipped"?

    I have tremendous pride in you. You are a lot stronger and tougher that I thought you were. I know you really are a good writer. And, I know that your love for animals has been with you forever. So, I'm sure when the time is right--- be it 42 or 96, God will give you a little insight:)

    Great post!

  2. Diane thank you for this post. Really, really thank you. I needed this. I have been having issues with this lately. I have a friend (she use to be my best friend) that I don't know how to deal with. She likes putting me down and it makes me doubt my self worth. I love the quote. I have the power to stop what she is doing to me. Thanks Diane.

  3. Wonderful post Diane. Really powerful and thought-provoking.

    I think that whatever you are - mom, friend, writer, dog lover - is enough. And if you're a great mom, friend and writer that you are much more than enough.

    I just know you are great at those things!

    I also know it's hard to not compare ourselves to others and feel down about ourselves. I do it too. But like you said, we have the power to stop it. Which is so great.

  4. I relate to what you're saying because I've always struggled with self-confidence. The one thing I'm confident about is my parenting. I feel pretty darn good about how I raised my kids, and if there is nothing else I EVER succeed in, I have that. And that's enough.

  5. Great post, Dianne! I cannot say that I'm able to relate to all of it, but I'm able to relate to quite a bit of it. I often question whether I've found my God given talents yet or not, so... yes. I do know what you're saying there. I guess all we can do is make our way along and hope we're going in the right direction, huh? :-)

    Dropping by with PYHO today.

    Hope you have a good rest of the week!

  6. Beautiful post Diane. And what a wonderful quote. I have never heard it before but am going to pin it up on my board.

  7. That quote is something that rings true, something I've not thought of but makes perfect sense. Thank you for that insight.

  8. Great post.

    I absolutely LOVE that quote.

  9. It sounds to me like you are a strong woman who has been through a lot.

    I tend to get caught up on comparing myself and feeling lacking... but it's often unfair comparisons, too. We can all do something in a small way... and I think that is enough.

  10. I'm a bit of a perfectionist at what I do and it is prolly because I worry if what I am doing is good enuff. I've always been like that but it tends to serve me well because It usually works out in the end.But the worrying is aggravating.

  11. What a great post. I have always struggle with self-confidence I can relate in some ways to what you said about patting yourself on the back, because I did that after my divorce when I realized I COULD raise the kids by myself, but the divorce itself came with its own feelings of "I'm not good enough"

  12. what an outpouring of your heart this post was. Thank you so much for allowing us into your thought processes and backstory. You are enough, and you are stronger than you think. Sending you clarity and peace. thank you for linking up!