By Tanya-Marie Dube
Let’s just start with the fact that it does not matter where you come from or what you’ve been through in your life if you want to have something bigger and better.
The only way it does actually matter is if you reconcile with the facts: this happened to me, it’s okay, and I’m learning from it so I can use it to hold the space for others.
I don’t say that lightly - I know some of you have gone through so many hard things in your life. I know what it means to be passed around from person to person in foster care. I know what it means to be molested as a child, to be physically and emotionally beaten and left behind by family members who were supposed to protect and love me, to be turned out and rejected by adults when I needed a place to sleep as a child, letting me go off into the world alone with nothing, what it’s like to not know where my next meal was going to come from for years, to freeze in a car overnight in the winter because that’s the only place I could find to sleep.
I know what it means to be used sexually, sexually harassed and sexually
assaulted most of my life one way or the other. I know what it means to call my abuser out and have nobody believe me. I know what it means to be mistreated psychologically by narcissistic people. I know what it means to be rejected and treated like I’m garbage because I don’t belong to the same religion as the adults around me. I know what it’s like to have cheated death two times on the same day, to give birth to two babies, to have to venture on my own as a single mother, to love deeply.
Phew. That’s a lot. But whatever we went through: we now say: this happened to me, I’m going to be alright and how can I put this to use?
Before I had a spiritual practice, trust me when I say I got so hard on myself: I was so judgmental with myself, I had no love for who I was and why I was here. I completely disrespected myself this way, calling myself names and feeling like I wasn’t good enough to do much, and I took SO much for granted. I carried a chip on my shoulder, and I gradually sank deeper and deeper, making poorer and poorer choices that were taking me further and further away from myself. And then I was in an altercation with a violent and very drunk “friend” when I was 21, and it changed my life.
As the doctor was stitching up my face at 4 in the morning, he asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I said I wanted to help people, but didn’t know how. And he told me, like a guardian angel, that it was time to clean up my life and start making decisions that were going to positively impact my future. Enough was enough. He was right. I was smarter than that. And if I didn’t do anything about it, nothing was going to change.
I truly believe that once we use our grief or our trauma to help other people through theirs, it will be the fastest healing you’ve ever had.
We learn by teaching. We just do. So no matter what, remember, no matter WHAT has happened to you in your past, or where you come from, you can do anything you want if you remember a simple shift in your thinking: you are a soul in a human body, not a human body with a soul. Your body is simply the vehicle for the soul, so remember that when your soul is craving an experience that your human self feels too afraid to tackle. Your human self is not the object of your focus: your soul is. What does your SOUL want?
Your fear is not real: it’s a by-product of your human life, with your human parents and your human choices and all the ways you were taught to think and be along the way.
Your soul knows no gender, has no age and doesn’t live inside the labels of good or bad, right or wrong. It simply wants to grow and develop through experiences in this human journey, in Earth School, as Gary Zukav would say in his book The Seat of the Soul. And if your thing on this earth is to help others do good in this world, and change the world, but you’re too scared to do the things that need to be done, then you need to figure out why you’re getting stuck in your stories and why you’re letting those fearful parts of your personality take over your soul experience.
Can you imagine planning out a great road trip that will literally change your life and you realize that your amazing car needs oil, and instead of changing the oil, you just cancel the trip and sit at home and do nothing, calling your car stupid or useless when you could have just changed the oil and had the time of your life? It doesn’t make sense right? The oil is your mindset and your perspective. You are the vehicle. You need to shift and change your perspective in order to have the experiences that will change your life and the life of other people who you call into your space.
I want you to do a little exercise:
I want you to think ahead of all the people who you will help, go years and years and years into the future and think about the people who need to hear what you have to say, the lives you’ve changed, the lives you’ve saved that you might never even know about...see how that trickled down to their partners and their friends, family members, children...and then take it all away because you were too scared. What a frightful thought to think that all of those people may never find what they needed to change their own lives because you chose to live in fear instead of love.
I’m doing an exercise in A Course in Miracles, something I’ve now committed to doing for a whole year, one exercise each day, and the exercise I’ve done this morning is to remind myself that everything around me is just an illusion. The table, the computer, my body, none of it means anything. It’s an exercise in letting go of the things that I use to ground myself that aren’t real. I think that when we ground ourselves in the “safety” of the things that are material, when they go away, suddenly we feel uncertain about who we are. We do this with people, too. I’ve had to let my things go many times in my life because I just couldn’t carry them with me wherever I was headed so I’ve learned to not let these things hold onto me.
It’s still an exercise I need.
I have children now and they have things and there are memories and feelings tied into those things. I have a business now and I love my microphones and my ring lights and all the things, but they aren’t real. What I mean by that, is that they don’t matter. I have to remind myself that these are just tools for what I have to say and do, but that they don’t actually mean anything. For one minute, twice a day, I look around me and outside my window and remind myself that these things don’t mean anything until I give them meaning. They are props in the illusion of this life. What IS real, and what is going to change your life are the other souls that you’re connecting with on a daily basis and how you’re going to help them attain their goals. So how do we do that? What is the most meaningful work?
Perhaps the universe is giving you a master’s degree in this thing you’re going through. I can say “this thing” because there’s always something right? If we haven’t dealt with all the things, something, one thing, keeps popping up over and over again. A coach of mine from years ago said the master’s degree thing to me when I was going through my divorce and really really unsure of what the heck my purpose was. I kept going through thing after thing, sometimes great adversity that rocked me to my core, and I thought...Jeez...what the hell, man? How does this keep happening to me?
Yes, I was drawing this to me, but it was because my mind was focused on the wrong thing. Just like when absolutely nothing is working out and we keep pushing it and pushing it. It’s ridiculous how many times we will force things and force things until they do what we want them to do, only to find out we didn’t want the outcome we’re getting because we controlled it too much. Do you follow? If something isn’t working, why do we INSIST that we have to keep going for it and going for it? Yes, in our businesses, when something isn’t working, we don’t give up on the whole thing, we pivot.
But what about relationships that aren’t working - friendship, family or intimate.
How many times do we keep putting ourselves through things before we allow it to wash away and reconcile it to a moment in time, an experience, a lesson that was meant to teach you something about yourself. Because that’s what all of this is really about: you put on your oxygen mask before you can help others. You have to learn what is important with authority so you know what to let go of when the time presents itself. And for the love of god, don’t ignore it when you hear it and feel it.
I truly believe that everything happens when it is meant to happen. All of it.
Every single thing you’ve ever been through, everything you’re going through right now, and all the beautiful things that are coming for you. They are all happening when the timing is right in YOUR life. No should haves. No would haves. No what ifs. The timing of the events in your life are happening because that’s when they’re meant to happen. I like to think that I can speed that up by really going all in on my personal development and my spiritual practice.
When I’m spinning out of control emotionally or mentally, I check for 1. A full moon because when the moon is out, wowza...I’m a force to be reckoned with. But I can also trace it to 2. Not meditating and journaling or being too damn busy to read and do some personal development work. It’s a lifeline and it’s a lifestyle. When you’re quiet enough, and you’re focusing on your breathing, all the answers come. Every single one of them. So call it praying, call it meditating, but just focus on your breathing and clear your mind and let the burden fall off, and open the door to knowing. Ask the question: what am I meant to learn right now?
Things can get really really hard for us when we have taken the road to being an entrepreneur. I mean, I see it like this: you’re only going to do this if you are truly able to do it, and if you cannot possibly see yourself doing anything else. I mean we can all work for someone else, but entrepreneurs just don’t see things that way, right? You’re one. And a lot of entrepreneurs are really creative in other ways.
But why would you work for someone else when you can work for yourself? I
have started so many businesses and tried so many things over the past 30 years and have learned so much about myself along the way. So here we are; we take it all on, and then we set out to learn how. And the online world is literally bombarded with everyone under the sun telling you to do things one way or the other and it gets really really really overwhelming. I mean, it can knock us off kilter a little when we have too many emails with the next best thing happening. It takes some practice to know what’s good and what’s not and where to take a chance on someone new.
What I’m finding is that the connections I’m making through the people I’m finding to interview and to do my summits with is outstanding and powerful and we all need each other in that exact moment because our message is the same. I’ve made money, I’ve lost money, I’ve met some real shysters, but what are you going to do. The biggest gift I can give myself is trust in who I am and what I’m doing and knowing that I am here to do this work.
I remember telling my daughter the story of my high school boyfriend.
I shared the parts that she could handle at 14 years old, but the biggest lesson was that I had to walk away from the first love of my life when I didn’t want to but I had to. I had values that weren’t being adhered to when I was 16. I was in the middle of what would be a six year journey living on and off the streets from 12 years old.
And here I had this boy who was playing with me and hurting me physically but he was all I had in the whole world and the last thing I wanted to do was to give up the one person I had, but I had to do it. So I did, and it took me a long time to get over and get through because I didn’t have the skills I have now. If this relationship happened to me at this point in my life now, I would have walked away as soon as I saw the signs and I would have sat with it, journaled about it, meditated through it, and my soul would have sat with his soul and I would have given him a hug and sent him love and sent him on his way because I know now that every single person who comes into my world is my mirror: they are teaching me and learning from me at the same time. He would have been gone with a capital D, and that would have been that.
I understand now that I am both student and teacher at any given moment in my life and it is my job to remember that.
It’s my job to do my personal development and spiritual work so that I am constantly undoing the things I’ve been taught and make space for my world to open up.
Just like you, I want to change the world and I want to do that by helping people like you do the work that you’re meant to do, to let go of all the things that hold you back and hold you down, and give you the tools to breathe again, try something new, shift your perspective and go out there looking at the world through the eyes of your soul and not your scared human self. It’s OKAY to let go of what’s not working so you can make room for the BETTER things that are coming.
Tanya Marie Dube - Born into the foster care system, living in eight homes by the age of two years old, and homeless on and off for six years from 12-18 years old, Tanya-Marie Dubé is a show host, a motivational speaker, published author and online educator. She uses her extensive experiences in life and business to teach ambitious women and men entrepreneurs to stand in their power and reclaim their lives through radical money mindset shifts and personal development skills that help them overcome the hardships that have held them back all their lives.
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. To get information about the next free live masterclass and how to work with her, and get free training and coaching in her Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.