Some days you acknowledge that voice. You know the one. The one that makes you doubt every step you take.
Sometimes I wonder where that voice came from. I think it probably came from well-intended adults who didn't realize the power of their words.
My earliest memory of that voice was "don't make funny faces, because your face will get stuck." Then it became "if you eat apple seeds an apple grow out of your stomach."
That voice took a more serious tone as I grew older "Don't let boys into your personal space, they only want one thing." Another good one was "Don't spend your nights listening to your friend cry over the phone because they won't be there for you when you need them."
But I threw caution to the wind. And enjoyed life. I made funny faces at the mirror as a hobby. I enjoyed eating a lemon seed to understand why they were inedible. I spent all of my teen years comforting heartbroken friends. I mostly had male friends because I trusted them more then girlfriends, and I never ended up in an awkward situation.
As I grew older and became a mother, that voice turned into something comical: "Don't eat broccoli while you nurse, it will harm your baby" or "your children come first, not your marriage." My personal favourite is: "You need to know your place as a mother and take care of everything in your home."
Even worse that voice started to address the way I was raising my children; "Don't let your son try nail polish, he will have issues." "Don't let your daughter be obsessed with sports, she will become too tough" -- this was said to me when I was growing up.
Again I defied that voice and I intentionally ate garbanzo beans and broccoli to make sure my nursing baby was used to whatever I ate. I always put my marriage first, because I wasn't planning on raising my kids alone. I knew my place as a mother, and it meant working in partnership with my husband and sharing the load. My greatest victory of all is my children; my daughter is thankfully a sports-loving tough cookie, and my sons are sensitive and observant little men.
But now as I embark on to a new stage in life where I have finished defying every bit of ridiculous advice, I find the voices that I defied try and resurface. Now they are coming out of my mouth! SCARY!
My husband loves quoting Batman the Dark Knight (btw this was the best one of the trilogy) " You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain" - Harvey Dent (Aaron Elkhart)
As I write this, I contemplate the kind of days we have with our children. As parents we become so caught up in the daily grind, that we forget how to be ourselves and have fun.
Unless we self-reflect and make a change we risk becoming the voice we grew up defying. We might live long enough to see ourselves become the villain. The circle of defiance continues except now our children are the rebels and we are the evil empire.
I was inspired to write this story of bullyhood (parental bullying) after watching the inspiring and recently viral "Pep Talk" YouTube video.
The Pep Talk is a powerful video that insists you become the change you want to see. And as you watch the video please try to envision the amazing person you could be, rather than what you may have become.
Please share with me how you push "that nagging voice" away and stay positive, fun and just simply awesome. You can share your thoughts with me on by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on twitter (twitter.com/amberzcorner). I will gather and share the top 10 best ways with everyone in the near future.
Stay awesome my friends.
Follow Amber Rehman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/amberzcorner