Destiny: Predetermined or Taught (Part 2)

Last week I spoke to you about how my initial upbringing as a child helped form some of my outdated and very much unwanted beliefs – ones that I carried well into my adulthood.

I promised you that I’d share where one of my second biggest ‘aha’ moments came from, so here it is.

While I know that many of you who are reading these two blog posts are wondering why you might go back and closely examine your earlier life, I can't reiterate enough how important it is to do this excavation work. Even though every fiber of your being may be screaming, ”Oh my God, I can’t do that. It’s too much! Why would I want to go back there? I do not want to relive that pain!”, you have to. Look at it this way: if you want to start to find out where you are being held back from being your best self, you’ll need to figure out what to erase and change deep inside your memory bank in order to make room for more positive, life-altering growth.
So… back to my second pivotal story.
I have shared before about my grandmother, the wind beneath my wings. She had an abortion also, when she was a young bride and mother. I did not know about her abortion until a month before she died. I believe she told me because she was afraid of what would happen next. What would happen to her when she died? Would she live in eternal damnation? Where would her soul go after having made a choice to abort a baby? And I believe she lived much of her life atoning for that choice.

There were many ways we both compromised ourselves to hide our secrets. We abdicated decision-making power in our marriages, afraid we’d make another mistake, and we didn’t want to be responsible for that happening. We were both people pleasers and accommodating of everyone else before ourselves, hoping to be seen as saints rather than the extraordinary sinners we believed ourselves to be. I became a doormat for my husband to walk on, providing my own daughter with a very dysfunctional role model of what a mother should be like. And both my grandmother and I became so busy “doing” rather than “being” there was no time to be still and feel the pain we brought upon ourselves, even if it was “our choice.”

Eventually, I needed to rely on alcohol in the evenings to relax. I have seen other women who have used drugs, including prescription anti-depressants to escape the depression and insomnia that began to manifest years later. Just because we chose to abort does not mean that the decision didn’t hurt.

Hearing my grandmother’s story shifted everything for me. I finally realized that I was not alone in making this type of momentous decision. This understanding changed my life. It gave me the courage to stand up for myself in a one-sided marriage and ask for a divorce. It gave me an opportunity to change the trajectory not only of my life, but my children's lives as well. Now, instead of a doormat, they see a woman who can stand up for herself. This is especially important for my daughter and all of our daughters. This self-realization work that we do is not just for us: it is for future generations to reap benefits from. 

One in every three women has at least one abortion by the time they are age 45. Of those one in three, it is estimated that 72% are already mothers.  Over a million women a year have abortions. We are so not alone. If we can’t see our way to releasing the past for ourselves, maybe knowing we can change the future of our daughters and our world in general is a more compelling reason to continue this journey.

If you have a daughter, ask yourself this question: Am I teaching her all that I can to be her very best self, including leading by example and living by my own values, not just assuming the ones handed down to me? Am I showing her how to take responsibility for her own beliefs and actions? Am I showing her how to fly well and fly powerfully?

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