- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Victim of Circumstance; Or Empowered by Circumstance
Now that I have gotten into the twenty-first century, I finally have a DVR. I am able to tape shows that I would not have normally been able to watch during the day because of work. I now record the "Oprah" show each day, and watch it when my work day has finished.
Yesterday she had Tyler Perry on the show. For those of you who do not know who Tyler Perry is, he happens to be the second most successful man in Hollywood, James Cameron being the first. Tyler Perry made the movie "Precious", among many other films, which was about a young girl who suffered unbelievable verbal, physical, and sexual abuse at the hands of her mother and father. This movie was some what autobiographical for Mr. Perry, and mirrored much of what he endured during his childhood.
I was touched by the fact that Mr. Perry was brutally beaten, verbally abused, sexually abused by three men and one women before the age of ten, and against all odds, made a huge success out of his life. He was able to not let his "circumstance" take power over how he chose to live his life. He chose not to be a victim of his circumstance, but to become empowered by it and live a life that he created no matter what had happened to him.
This outcome of an abused person is not the norm. I love hearing stories about people who have been able to transcend their abusive past, and turn their lives around. Many people that live with abuse will continue that cycle throughout their lives, choosing to be destructive to themselves, and others around them. There are those like Mr. Perry who have chosen to find a better path, and overcome what has happened to him. He took his power back.
This shows such strength and character to be able to rise above what was truly evil behavior, and live a life that is compassionate, caring, loving, and successful. I have great respect for anyone who can make that journey.
We all have a story to tell about our life. Many of us experience abuse. Whether it is verbal, physical, or sexual, it is rare to meet anyone who has not experienced some kind of abuse from someone in their lives. In my training career I can tell you that many of my female clients had been sexually abused. Many of my friends and clients in the past thirty years had dealt with verbal abuse from their parents, and some had physical abuse as well.
Ultimately it is up to us how we are going to deal with what has happened to us. Are we going to give the abuser our power and let them destroy our lives? Many people do and suffer decades, if not their whole life, after the abuse has stopped. They are unable to take their power back and create the life that they really want. Destroying your life allows the abuser to keep winning, long after the abuse has ended.
We must understand that when someone is abusing us, particularly as a child where our choices are limited, it is never about us. It is always about the abusers insecurities, dysfunctions, mental disorders, or anger problems. They just project them onto whoever is weaker and unable to protect themselves. They dump all of their abuse onto those that are close to them, many times it is the small, innocent children that become the target. They are bullies, cowards, and broken individuals who are not able to transcend their own abusive past.
We always have choices, no matter what our circumstance might be. We can always choose to overcome our abuse if we are conscious, and mindful of it. It is not easy, but then living a destructive, downward spiral of a life is not easy either. I do not know why some of us experience a life of abuse, and others may not. I do not know why some of us have to struggle more than others do, or why some of us experience challenges more than others.
I do know that we are all on our own journey, and it is not to be compared to anyone else. We are handed a certain set of circumstance when we are born. Some of us get a childhood that has loving, supporting parents, and some of us don't. Whatever your circumstance is, you can make it what you want by not giving any abuse you might be experiencing the power to destroy you. Find counseling, discover the strength inside you, choose to understand that any abuse that you might have experienced, is never about you....it is always about them.
It is not easy to find strength when it has been physically and mentally beaten out of you. It is in you though. There is a wonderful, strong, capable, being inside of you that can shine through all of the negative that has crossed your path. Tyler Perry is living proof of that. His story gives many people the hope that they too can thrive and become a successful, compassionate, loving, person, regardless of their past. He is an inspiration to all of us.