So, I’m just watching Oprah’s Master Class and all the people on there seem to agree about one thing - you have to know where you come from; and where you come from shapes you into who you are.
I have tried my whole life to find my home inside of me, because I always resented where I come from.
I am sure that I had everything I needed as a child, my parents started out small, but they worked hard and they made their fortune. Money was not an issue after a certain point and believe me when I tell you that I never looked back once I walked away from it - money is not happiness. After a certain point, it can’t even soothe the pain anymore.
When I grew up home meant these things to me:
1. Guilt. It was mine and my sister’s fault if our parents were going to get a divorce, it was my fault for my parents arguing because my Dad and I saw eye to eye on business decisions and my mother did not agree, it was my fault that my sister could not go on her vacation at the time she wanted to because I was having a second child even though one would have been enough….
2. Lies. Even though guilt was definitely No. 1 in my family and a convenient tool for my parents to get my sister and me to comply, lies came in a close second. Because if making someone feel guilty does not work, then lies are the next best thing, right? Let’s just say I have some real trust issues now.
3. Envy. Once I was old enough and just flat out refused the guilt trip and called them on their lies the envy ensued. My father still tried his intimidation and “I will disown you” strategy, but my mother and sister jumped on the envy bandwagon. They were jealous, because I was determined to lead my own life, pursue my dreams and create a home for myself. Ironically, it was the traits I got from my father - business sense, stubbornness and drive - that made this possible. My mother and sister were (and still are) prisoners, which closes the circle with…
4. More Guilt. It’s a vicious circle, really - guilt, lies and envy, starting all over again with guilt. “If you had not left, things would be easier for us. Now we have to deal with him and you are not here to talk some sense into him and look after us.” Boom. More guilt.
But no more! Even though it keeps creeping back into my life, lurking ever-present, ready to attack when I let my guard down for just one minute - I kick it in the ass every single time. I’m badass like that.
This is what home means to me now, and what I want it to mean for my children:
5. Acceptance. Come as you are - it’s all good.
6. Safety. This is your safe haven, you can relax here.
7. Freedom. Speak your mind - go right ahead. We won’t judge you for it.
8. Nurturing. This is a place where we try to do our best to bring out the best in ourselves and in you!
9. Support. We listen. Sometimes we offer advice, but only if we have something smart to say. Mostly, we just listen.
10. Respect. Whatever you decide is good for us. We won’t try to convince you otherwise, but let you assume responsibility for your own decisions. Because you can do it.
I guess those smart people on Oprah’s Master Class are right - it is important to know where you come from. I do. And I certainly know where I want to go.