I’m a firm believer that necessary evil and drama are good for you. The ones that make you lose your mind, that weather you. The ones that make you crumble altogether, just to pick yourself up and rebuild. If you’ve postponed a lifetime doing something for you, a necessary drama is a teacher like no other. I know it sounds superficial because it implies a lot of pain, but we’re talking about what that pain can do. And sometimes it can cause quite a show. There are many things to tell about how failures made me the woman I am today. Do you leave your failures to define you?
It’s about how situations make, each one of us, become fully human. Other versions of ourselves. I’ll stick to a few, for now.
I’ve said it before that major changes in my life happened when I understood that I’m not a victim of situation and context. I’ve always told myself that I’m the human that can get over the crap, the human who can. I tried to demonstrate to myself exactly that every time. To demonstrate that I can take failures as they come, without blaming anything happening outside of me. I’ve had an awesome revelation while watching Tony Robbins – I Am Not Your Guru.
Who’s this guy?
Well, Tony Robbins is a motivational coach, personal finance instructor and author of personal development books. I know, I know. They’re not exactly my cup of tea either, the movies and sumptuous books that tell you how to change your life. But this movie moved something in me. This man put his mark on me so profoundly, that I started seeing things differently. In that movie, he tells something to his audience at a conference that instantly makes me remember it:
Life doesn’t happen to you. It happens for you.
This means that this universe and the chaotic encounters don’t aim to hinder you or to destabilize you. Maybe you have something to learn from every one of them. Perhaps you suffer to become another version of yourself. A better-prepared human for the future’s challenges. The strongest people are the ones who’ve hit the dirt.
They’re the ones who were alone, penniless, who’ve suffered. Those who weren’t loved by their parents, those with no friends, those who thought life’s about this. These people found their courage, heck knows how, and learned to stand up again. They’ve defied their parents and the people who didn’t want them around. They’ve defied their social condition and psyche. They learned the law of the jungle: survival of the fittest. They worked twice as much, gossiped twice as less, and started pushing forward. The goal was to make a show out of every action. They’ve found their motivation in the hate and distrust other people showed. They learned something from their failures!
Speaking about blaming people, Tony Robbins said that if you want to blame someone, blame them for all the good they’ve caused to you. He said that, although he had blamed his mother for shoving liquid soap up his throat and for the cruel battles he had faced, he knew that because of her he learned to love his wife. He learned to be a human that heals, a human that motivates. Without all the crap that made him say enough is enough, he wouldn’t be speaking today in front of tens of thousands of people. He wouldn’t be the one who inspires and changes others. He called his tragedies gifts.
How many of us are willing to do that? Here lies the greatest challenge.
Since then, I’ve been thinking about the things and the people that I’ve blamed along this chaotic self-development road. Sometimes it makes a fool out of me, but I know that otherwise I wouldn’t have had the crazy ambition I have today.
My relationship with my mom was one of the causes. It was always tensioned, I could say. I was always a sad and frustrated kid because I bought the classic “You’re good for nothing”. I didn’t realize I deserve the love of others and consequently grew up with some unimaginable pain. The thing is, once I’d blamed my mom for all my lack of love and all the reproaches of this world, I put the problem into perspective. That is after I had started understanding a little psychology and knowing her problems from the past.
Yep, sometimes the way parents love us doesn’t reach us.
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But I somehow understood that if she doesn’t love the way I need, this doesn’t mean she doesn’t love. If our parents had not been loved the right way themselves, how can we possibly expect them to offer it to us? How happy do you think childhood in communist times was? That’s why I’m saying: Even with all the pain we have, we need to look towards our folks. Love and forgive them. They have been at our side the best way they knew and how much they knew.
Another craziness in my life was the loneliness in primary school, followed by the wave of people and true friends that high school bestowed upon me. I’ll continue saying this: If I wasn’t in a bad spot sometimes, I wouldn’t know how to make me feel good. Up until I was 15, I was a really lonely child. This was because life at home was always delicate. Poetry and melancholy were always by my side and it was hard for me to get close to people. I wasn’t timid, that’s clear. I always caused ripples around me, but this only removed people from my life. What can you do, when you believe that you don’t deserve love? You act accordingly.
I don’t know exactly when I started gaining momentum in my ambition. But I was tired of all the losers that were laughing at me because I was writing or how I looked. I wore dental braces and glasses when there were very few people using these.
I stirred waves of hate and insults that made me feel miserable. What emotional intelligence back then? I wasn’t aware of how much potential I had.
But I found out eventually. That was when I went to a city high school and met a lot of diverse people. A lot of opportunities opened up to me. I entered 9th grade eager to show everyone what I can do. I forgot about hate, started seriously investing in myself and became more resilient. Standing up for myself, talking, taking initiative, assuming things and representing people. What an adventure that was…It may sound trivial, but that was the beginning of an evolution that I had waited for too long. That is how I’ve started rewriting my story. Of course, I’d had hit myself against skepticism and the same jealous people, but that didn’t matter anymore. Once you know your value and potential, you are turning a deaf ear to people.
It was the same when I joined POV (Point of View), this team that soon became a way of life after 2 years of activity.
I joined the team because of the same process I always had valued: courage. At a public event, I stood up and talked. It didn’t matter the hall was full of writers and important people, I mustered courage and requested the microphone. And those that mattered noticed me. That’s how I joined the team where my soul resides now, where I’ve arduously helped build what POV21 means today.
The first meeting had me following the same mentality: Go there and show what I can do. And I did.
I was never one for timidity. Just like arrogance doesn’t define me. If I write like this it’s because I want to emphasize how much I could change by myself. Through sheer belief in myself and courage. I chose not to listen to my primary school colleagues, the relatives who’d eagerly wait for me to fail, parents too skeptical.
I somehow understood that the dramas don’t characterize me if I can call them that. The time for debate isn’t here just yet, but they were painful and most of the time were too much to handle. I can’t be that sincere in writing as I should be, but the moment when I’ll openly talk about those things will come. The failures, the things that pull out the worst in you, only to leave the best things when they leave.
My life changed, but, only when I realized what my blessings were. My advantages.
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This is where I wanted to arrive. If I hadn’t gone through the crap, I would never have had enough ambition. If I didn’t have those failures, I wouldn’t be the woman I am now! Never would have worked so much to demonstrate that I’m the girl no one believed could succeed. I wanted to demonstrate to myself that I can be happy and loved, even though childhood only showed me the opposite. I wanted to think in terms of abundance, to offer people around me the best. Warmth, vulnerability, and support. I loved as much as I could and I’ve realized at the end of high school that all this love came back. In every way possible.
I saw myself from different angles. I started appreciating myself, loving how I look, knowing how many smiles and energy I can bring with me in a room I enter. No blaming anymore. My failures didn’t matter anymore! I know I deserve extraordinary things, and thus I’ve made room for them in my life. I understood that if I’ve come this far, I can go much further.
All this stage wasn’t even a fight for me anymore. I’ve reached a level of inner peace that whenever I had offered love to myself, people around me did the same. It’s so simple once you learn from the past and desire to change the present. My own mistakes and problems served as launching pads. I knew that I wouldn’t be the victim of social and familial contexts. My home city doesn’t define me, just like my family’s money or problems didn’t. I became the woman I am today just because I believed in me crazily enough and also believed in what I can change.
To end, I want to say one more thing. You need to know deep down your soul that you can do it! That you’re a human with extraordinary potential. Don’t be afraid of your failures. Instead, let them teach you something! That’s how failures made me the woman I am today!
Once you know that, the sky is the fucking limit!
Author: Andreea Cordos