Growing up I never believed I was quite good enough for my mother and my sister. You see, my older sister Pallavi was the “good one” and I was the “difficult one.” Pallavi is now an oncologist at Harvard University. Today, my sister and I have an amazing relationship filled with trust, love, and the utmost respect for one another.
My mother, Geetha, recently retired after 30 years of serving her patients as a cardiologist. I, on the other hand, chose a different route. In the Indian culture it is typical to go into medicine, accounting, or engineering. I knew from a very young age I was meant to serve humanity, but I had no idea how I would do so. I spent the majority of life looking for ME in all the wrong places. Cocaine, cigarettes, alcohol, men, work, food – and predictably so, nothing ever seemed to fill me up.
It’s no surprise that I felt like the black sheep in the family. The irony of it all? No one ever said to me, “Vasavi, you suck. You are the black sheep.” It was MY belief that I was different and weird. And as most of us are aware, if you think a thought long enough, you start to believe it and eventually you start to BE that thought.
And I did. I did things that inevitably branded me as weird, difficult, and black sheep-like. It was easy for me to make my mother and sister wrong because in my eyes they were better than me. It was a perpetual narrative that I played in my mind…over and over again. I was addicted to my story. Every story affords us something. While I wanted to love and be loved, my story allowed me to stay stuck in resentment. It kept me from having a deeper connection with my sister and mother.
And you want to know what the worst part was? I really believed that I was right.
Have you ever told yourself a story so many times that you start to believe it’s the “truth?” You know what I’m talking about, right? The same conversation in your mind starts to be your fuel wherever you go and whomever you come across.
It sounds like:
“People don’t get me.”
“Nobody cares about me.”
And, if you had a similar experience to mine…then it SUCKED.
I alienated myself.
I made my family wrong.
I never believed I was “enough.”
I rejected their love.
I was cold and abrupt.
When you live in your story you create a “me” versus “them” paradigm. That is exactly what I had done. I created a fortress that no one (especially my mother and sister) could even come close to. The more I believed my story, the more I recreated similar patterns in other relationships.
In the video below, Stephanie, who believes that she is the “black sheep” in her family, wants to learn how to make her family understand her. Here’s the thing guys: you cannot “make” anyone do anything. Watch the video to learn more about how you can free yourself and shift your perspective from fear to love.
Two years ago I attended a personal growth seminar. We were asked to look at the people who we get triggered by more often than not. Obviously my triggers were my mother and my sister. What I realized that day was that I had constructed my life in a way that was set up for absolute disconnection. I began to see that everything I thought, and every action that I took, was designed to have me be “less than” everyone in my life. And not just my mother and sister. You see, it was never about them. Yeah, it’s easy to blame our past, our parents, our circumstances, for why we are the way we are, and why we do what we do. But in that moment, at that seminar, I GOT IT.
I got that I had manifested the relationship that I currently had with the people in my life. I didn’t get it from a place of judgment or criticism. Curiosity and childlike wonder were the key here. Being willing to look at not just the adult Vasavi, but also the hurt little girl inside of me gave me access to the awareness that I now have as it pertains to my mother and my sister.
That was the day that I realized my story was a “big fat lie.”
We are set free when we release the lies we have been telling ourselves.
The lie that I was telling myself? That I was “less than” and I would never be understood.
It was up to me in that moment to begin to love and accept myself. As harsh as it was for me to BE with that truth, I got that it was up to me to BE the love and acceptance that I was seeking. For too long, I was waiting for approval and acceptance, yet I wasn’t doing the work and “being the change I wanted to see.” (Gandhi)
If you are wondering whether or not you have such a story, here is one way to find out:
Observe the quality of your life.
The quality of your life is a crystal clear reflection of the quality of your relationships. We don’t live in a bubble. We are meant to rely on, depend on, and get supported by one another. This is the nature of the Uni-verse. If your life is not where you want it to be, consider that there is a story in place.
This new awareness coupled with intentional action has transformed all my relationships. I’m aware of a deeper knowing. A knowing that I am neither better nor less than anyone around me. We are all ONE. I know that sounds cliche and woo-woo, but it doesn’t matter. Coming from this awareness: Who would I be? What would I say? What would I do differently?
Once you watch the video, I would love for you to share your insights.
Brilliant Reader, if you GOT that at the core, we are all ONE, how would that change the relationship that you have with yourself and with those around you?
What do you learn about yourself and your triggers? Remember that whatever triggers you “out there” is all about what’s going on within you. I’ll “see” you in the comments below!
P.S. I’m super excited to announce my newest digital program, Conquer: A 21 Day Guide to Freedom. This is your life. No practice rounds. No do overs. Get your freedom on here.
Vasavi Kumar describes herself as “your kick-in-the-pants guide en route to your desired destination.” With an out-of-the-box, rebellious approach, she inspires people to find freedom from their past to take charge of their future. As a freedom strategist, Vasavi holds dual master’s degrees in Special Education and Social Work from Columbia University. She’s the co-author of bestselling book Succeeding in Spite of Everything, and appears on TV as the “Keepin’ It Real Guru” on Kansas City Live.