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Embrace Your Wounds Of The Past. They Are The Seeds Of Your Wisdom.

Embrace Your Wounds Of The Past. They Are The Seeds Of Your Wisdom.

In life, no matter how long or short your time is on this earth, you will experience pain. Babies enter the world in traumatic fashion–screaming, crying and completely helpless.  And life continues from there.

Struggle, failure and pain are all intricate pieces of the puzzle that makes you who you are. When you shy away from struggles, run from failure or hide your pain, you become an incomplete picture. What most people fail to realize is that wisdom, strength and fuel for the future is wrapped up inside that pain.

Oprah Winfrey epitomizes the concept of not only triumphing in spite of pain, struggle and turmoil but actually using it a tool to help actuate success. And when discussing Oprah and all that she has accomplished, the word ‘successful’ is incredibly inadequate and a grossly insufficient label for her. She has defied the odds as a woman, as a woman of color, as a poor woman of color and as an abused poor woman of color.

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It’s not how you start…

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    Poverty, physical abuse, abandonment, sexual abuse, drugs, teenage pregnancy and the death of a child–all in the first 17 years of life. Yet Oprah thrived. Proving that it’s not how you start something it’s about the journey and where you end up.

    It’s understanding that you may have started life at a disadvantage–extreme poverty, single parent home, drug infested neighborhood, violence, physically and or sexually abused, learning disabled, physically deformed, given up for adoption or left by a dumpster or emotionally abandoned–but those circumstances do not define who you are nor do they determine your future. You do. In fact, those things build a mental toughness, an internal drive to win and the strength to push through when the odds are not in your favor.

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    Oprah decided to unveil her trauma to the world. She chose not to hide it but exposed it in order to assist others–without a voice or platform–dealing with and carrying these types of deep emotional wounds. She became transparent and allowed others to see through her pain that damaged doesn’t mean destroyed and that what is broken can be fixed.

    Oprah is winning.

    You have to fight to win

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      At 17 while living with her father after all that had transpired in her life, she was crowned Miss Black Tennessee, she got her first on air TV job and earned a full scholarship to Tennessee State University. She didn’t just “turn her life around,” she bulldozed her old life to the ground and erected a bigger and better existence for herself and she has never looked back. Since that time she has steadily grown in popularity, fame and wealth. She has been named one of the most influential people in the WORLD by Time Magazine and hailed as one of the most powerful women of this century.

      An article published in Vanity Fair aptly described Winfrey’s influence this way:

      “Oprah Winfrey arguably has more influence on the culture than any university president, politician, or religious leader, except perhaps the pope.”

      Simply put, Oprah learned to fight. She never felt sorry for herself and she refused to let others pity her. She worked for everything she got, earned every accolade and deserves every dollar of her wealth.

      Learning to turn your tragedy into triumph

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        Behind anyone who has accomplished anything worthwhile–lurking in the shadows–are countless failures and puddles of tears. Life is funny that way– the more gifts you have the more pain and heartache you must endure. The two go hand in hand. They are twins or at the very least cousins. You must embrace them both in order to win.

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        If you have experienced tragedy upon tragedy, and endured immense amounts of pain–I have good news–you are destined for greatness.

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        Denise Hill

        Speech Writer/Senior Editor

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        Last Updated on February 18, 2019

        Why It’s Never Too Late To Redefine Yourself

        Why It’s Never Too Late To Redefine Yourself

        The ability to reinvent and redefine yourself is a bold, daring and purposeful choice. It doesn’t just happen. You have to make a conscious, intentional choice and then follow through.

        If the thought of forging a new path, changing habits, thought patterns and your inner circle of friends scares you – you’re not alone. Change can be a very scary thing. It takes courage, fortitude and a bit of faith to decide to shed your old self and don a new persona. However, it is one of the most critical processes one must repeatedly endure in the pursuit of destiny. Change unlocks new levels of potential.

        The Need for Change

        Everyday when we wake up, we make a decision. We decide to follow our routine or we decide to go off script and shake things up a bit. For those who are creatures of habit, routine is comfortable, easy and produces very little stress. The problem with this is, after a while you stop growing.

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        We all reinvent ourselves at some point in our lives. It is absolutely necessary to achieve certain levels of success.

        Reflect back on who you were as a teenager and then who you were at 25. Those are two very different people. Most of us are completely different. Your thought patterns changed, your appearance, job, level of education and even your friends– changed. We like to refer to this as “growing up” or maturing and consider it to be one of life’s natural progressions. However the changes you made were purposeful and deliberate.

        This process must be a lifelong and continuous cycle. You are never too old to refresh yourself.

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          Signs It’s Time to Redefine

          “Just as established products and brands need updating to stay alive and vibrant, you periodically need to refresh or reinvent yourself.”– Mireille Guiliano

          So how do you know when it’s time for a system upgrade? There are signs along the way that alert you that it is time for an overhaul. The first sign is the feeling of being stuck. If you feel like you are in a rut, you’re bored with life or you need some newness and excitement, a self reinvention may be in order. Re-evaluate your life vision and your goals. Is that vision still valid and are your goals consistent with your vision and–are they achievable? If you are off course, it’s time for a change. If you are not moving forward and making progress, it’s time for a change.

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          In life, there’s no such thing as neutrality–you’re either moving forward or you are moving backward. Time constantly moves forward and if you are standing still, you are actually losing ground. No matter your age or stage in life– there is always room for improvement.

          “You’re never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.” ~C. S. Lewis

          The second sign that you are due for a change is the occurrence of major life events in which change is forced upon you. Getting married, starting a new job, being promoted, ending a relationship, becoming a parenting or relocating are all prime opportunities to completely overhaul your life.

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          When these major shifts occur in your life–you have to shift with them. You can’t have a single mentality and have a successful marriage. You can’t remain selfish and irresponsible, and raise a healthy, well-adjusted child. You can’t be promoted to a supervisory position and keep the same subordinate attitude. Each level of success requires something different from you.

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            Consider, for a moment, Arnold Schwarzenegger. People may have different opinions about his character and some of his life choices, but he is a master at reinventing himself. He achieved the ultimate success as a professional body builder by earning the title “Mr. Universe” three times. He then earned a tremendous amount of fame and fortune in the entertainment industry making action/adventure films. And in his latest role, he served two terms as the Governor of California. He succeeded as a professional body builder, a film star and a politician. Each role required massive amounts of change, commitment, strength and hard work.

            And if Arnold can do it…so can you!

            Featured photo credit: BK via flickr.com

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