When You Run From Who You Are
There was a time in my 30’s and 40’s when I wanted to change my name. Not my first name. I was good with that. I considered changing my family name.
Growing up I had a number of experiences that landed for me in a negative way. I was molested at the age of 6 and again at the age of 9. I experienced physical as well as mental and emotional abuse. My father was fond of telling me, “You aren’t worth the powder to blow you to hell.”
I heard that “I wasn’t worth the powder to blow me to hell,” so many times that I actually started to believe it to be true. It was a lie, but in my young mind, I couldn’t make sense of it. Why would my father say such a thing if it wasn’t true? I came to the conclusion that I was broken beyond repair. I’m not saying it made good sense for me to end up believing that lie. Those words along with the other forms of abuse seemed to validate each other.
Through that process, I came to believe there was something inherently wrong with me. That I was fundamentally broken. And seeing myself that way hung around with me like a dark shadow all the way into my fifties.
Maxwell Maltz –was a cosmetic and reconstructive facial plastic surgeon. Over the years that, he was active as a surgeon, he helped many people with reconstructive surgery needed for various abnormalities and injuries to a person’s appearance.
Over time he realized that even when his skills brought about a stunning improvement to a person’s appearance If that person didn’t see themselves from the inside as beautiful, the outward changes didn’t matter. Even if they could see a difference on the outside, it didn’t matter to their self-esteem or confidence. The inner negative belief they held about themselves would win out.
This same dynamic, impacted me in such a powerful way. I wasn’t going to have plastic surgery though. I thought if I changed my family name, I could somehow, miraculously become a new person who would also have value. The problem was I could change my name 1,000 times but that couldn’t change how I saw myself. Even though it wouldn’t work, there was a part of me that believed it would.
I never did change my name. Maybe deep down inside me, I knew that wasn’t the real problem. I have been able to change how I saw myself but it took me some time to do it. I tried everything imaginable. Self-help and personal development books, seminars, and programs. I tried praying and affirmations and visualizations. All of it helped but none of it completely fixed it.
I had to go deeper. I actually had to go back and wrestle with the truth of what the root problem was. That I had come to believe a lie. It didn’t matter that it was a lie. I believed it to be true and I behaved in accordance with it.
After doing the inner work of unpacking the lies, I was able to see myself more clearly. When I could see myself more clearly, I was able to behave differently. I was able to see the world more clearly. Things took on a new brightness. I found more joy even though my circumstances hadn’t changed.
When we change how we see things, the things we see begin to change as well.
I hope that was helpful to you. Would you please share this with somebody you know. The only way it helps is if it is heard by others. Will you also subscribe to the podcast, download the episodes and give a rating and review. I would really appreciate that.
If you want the episode delivered straight to your inbox every week, go to markgoblowsky.com and sign up to our list. We won’t spam ever. We will send you each episode though, and stories to stimulate your thinking and help you grow and experience more pa. See you next time.