Full disclosure, I have no child of my own but I am helping to raise Kaaveh’s son Jaxson. He is one of my most favourite people in this world. He makes me laugh, he makes me proud and we love each other dearly. In saying this, I know that I have a responsibility to him, his mother and Kaaveh (my partner in life and in business). Although I’m very aware that he is not my biological son, I treat him as if he was and my responsibility is to ensure that my insecurities do not translate to him. If you’ve ever questioned the nature vs nurture debate, a son that is not biologically yours, certainly makes you see the power and effect of both. If my mannerisms and silly little sayings can be repeated on the daily, Kaaveh and I had discussed whether or not my insecurities would be transferred to him as well.
Children don’t come into this world thinking they’re not good enough. They learn this feeling from somewhere; whether directly or indirectly. I didn’t come into this world thinking that either and yet I still hold onto insecurities I’ve had for as long as I can remember. Kaaveh, being the most aware person ever, saw this in me a mile away. I’m so blessed to have had him initiate this process and selflessly encourage and guide me on this journey of self discovery.
My first step was to acknowledge all of my flaws and there were a lot of them! I needed to determine what my flaws were so that I knew what I needed to work on. Once the list of flaws was complete I needed to accept them, figure out where they came from, validate their source and then be proactive in ensuring that I had control over them moving forward. I had to ensure that those issues didn’t continue to plague me my entire life, my relationship with Kaaveh, and Jaxson’s sense of self.
As we all know, most of our issues come from our upbringing and essentially our parents. Their insecurities translated to us, and our grandparents’ insecurities translated to them and so on. Along the way we also picked up a few at school, a few at organized sports, music lessons etc. They compiled on top of eachother to bring us to the place we are now. For me, most of my insecurities came back to having a low self esteem and not valuing myself. I got laughed at in class. I was put in the math group that needed extra help. I was constantly compared to everyone else. I felt like my friends were all smarter than me and I thought everything came so naturally to everybody else, whereas I had to work extra hard.
Now, knowing this information I can see how it translates still to this day. I don’t take risks for fear that I will fail. I prejudge things all the time and convince myself that things will be difficult for me to do. Worst of all, I purposely don’t involve myself in conversations with people that I believe are smarter than me. Kaaveh has even caught me and enlightened me in the negative way I speak. Something so simple as changing, “Wow, I can’t believe you did it” to “Wow, I always knew you could do it” has the potential to change Jaxson’s confidence. This awareness of my own self doubt and negative talk had me realize the damage I could be doing. From an outside perspective, I’m disgusted with myself. How did I get here? After 40 years, I’m still telling myself the same nonsense I believed when I was 6.
If I knew then, what I know now, I would tell myself to believe that there is so much opportunity to learn from my mistakes. If I’m aware enough to see what those mistakes are then I can learn from them. If I don’t know, I should ask. Smart people ask questions. Smart people inquire about things they don’t know. Smart people take it upon themselves to ask, why? There is no shame in not knowing what you don’t know but it is shameful not to find out more. Lastly, the one thing I would instill upon myself would be that I don’t want to continue to feel like this for my entire life. I need to fix it. If I don’t, I could project my insecurities onto my children that I have in the future.
In previous blogs I’ve reflected on what our strengths are so we can share them with the people we love. I think it would be a disservice to neglect thinking about what our flaws are so we don’t share them with people because they are damaging to ourselves and those around us. Think about what your flaws are. Where do they come from? What triggered them? How do you rewrite them so they don’t get passed on to your children. Nobody’s perfect. We all have flaws but it’s our awareness of them that will allow us to move forward in the most positive way,
Thank you Kaaveh! Thank you for bringing to light the things I’ve been suppressing for my entire life. Thank you for revealing to me what I already knew but avoided tackling head on. Thank you for making me responsible for my own actions and wanting to improve for myself, for us and for Jaxson. Everything I’ve written here has come from you. They are your words that I have just repackaged. I’m so in love with you and I appreciate your strength in helping me realize my own when I didn't think I had any at all.
We would love to hear your thoughts. We have a lot to learn from each other, from the mistakes we’ve made to what’s worked best. Please feel free to share with our growing inclusive community what you know now that you wish you knew then. Let’s learn from each other and ourselves so we don’t perpetuate the same mistakes again onto the people we love the most.
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STAY HEALTHY & HAPPY!
Co-Founder of Witz & Marbles Inc.
*Written by a non-wicked step mom, a madly loving girlfriend, a fiercely loyal friend and a passionate teacher.*