My Father Invaded My Privacy

“I’ve never told any of y’all this but I recorded every conversation y’all had.” He went on to say, “You are my children, this is my house, you were using my phone and it was my responsibility to know what you were doing and to protect you, “ he said and then he fell out laughing.

I just hung up the phone with Daddy – he’d held that all this time. He said, “What’s it been now Baby, over 20 years since you moved out? I figure I’d go ahead and tell you now,” as he cracks himself up laughing!

What was I doing as he shared this? I was laughing hysterically with him. Why? Because that is who my Daddy is and, while I didn’t know he was doing it, I’m not, at all surprised.

Parents, please DON'T!

I’m always troubled, okay let me just tell the truth, PERTURBED by what I call “loosey-goosey ass parenting” – more concerned with being a child’s friend than their parent. As a parent there should be times when your child doesn’t like you, at all! Times when they want something really badly, but don’t have the wisdom to know how it won’t be to their advantage because they’re not developed enough to understand, but you;  and when you refuse to bend because you care more about protecting them than being disliked (for a period of time) by them.

We repeatedly heard, “I don’t give a damn how you feel about what I’ve told you to do, just do it!” Daddy didn’t bite his tongue, and every threat he ever made he followed through on. We were very clear about where “the line” was with Daddy and we wouldn’t dare cross it!

Was it fear? YEP! A very healthy fear. Fear based on respect for the man who worked very hard to provide more than we needed, but never all that we wanted – balance is so key!

He never told any of us he loved us (while we were young) and we never doubted that he did because love is an action word. One that is not always about what you do for your children. It is also about what you won’t permit and allowing them to do.

Too many parents want to be the “cool parent” and they fail to discipline and establish/reinforce rules. Children will have a lifetime to develop friendships, but only a sliver of time to be parented and that’s sliver prepares them for a lifetime!

Every one of us has rules to follow in life, so should your children. And they should understand that, early!

Respect wasn’t something my parents had to ask for, and we were more reverent of them than we were afraid. When a child doesn’t learn to revere at home, they’ll not just grant that honor on anybody when they leave your house.  A child know their loved when there’s boundaries, rules and discipline and when they get into the real world and see that the home prepared them to respect boundaries, follow rules and has given them the tools to then discipline themselves that’s when the appreciation kicks in.

No they don’t like it when it happens, but they love you more when they have points of reference later in life and that’s what parents are supposed to provide!

Daddy was always a step ahead of me and my siblings. Along with having the village who was quick to tell on us (even whip our tails if we really deserved it) he also had the recorded conversations which he kept downstairs in their bedroom out of clear view (and we wouldn’t DARE go through their things). So when we asked to go somewhere and told a story about where we were going and with whom, our recorded conversations would confirm our truth or reveal our lying asses and Daddy would permit us or deny us based on them.

No, he wasn’t invading my privacy. He was protecting me from my own stupidity and I love him all the more for that! He used the latest technologies to keep us safe. Parents today have far more tools available to them and I think they should use them…all of them!

Who knows how much of my youthful stupidity he protected me from? All I know is that his answer was “no” a lot more than it was “yes”, and he established with us early that “No” was a complete sentence.

So thank you, Daddy for using whatever means necessary to invade my privacy! Maybe if more parents would, they’d have less surprises about what their children are REALLY doing and can better guide them, and protect the rest of us.

Tell me what you think…do you think your underage children should have privacy – something in their lives that you should not know about?

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All the best,
Zara
Speaker, Individuality Advocate
Author of Living by Design and Living in Harmony

Sexually Uninhibited Or Just Loose

“SuperHead”, Really?!

I heard a young woman recently say that she lost her virginity before she had her first kiss.  That is just mind-boggling to me.  She went on to say that she’d had multiple sexual partners in an attempt to improve her sexual skills.

Now if prostitution is a career path and she’s living in Nevada where it’s perfectly legal, and it’s the family business, I totally understand that, otherwise, somebody failed her miserably and/or she’s going down a path that may be financially profitable but at what cost?

Every Tom, Dick and Harry ain’t supposed to know how you moan, Baby; that list ought to be very short. Your reputation depends on it.”  –Sam Green, Sr. aka My Daddy

By now, most of you know that I grew up in my Daddy’s barber shop and beauty salon and that he did not censor any conversations for my sake. In fact, he knew that allowing me to get the uncensored versions of how differently men and women thought about and used sex would be to my immediate and ultimate benefit.

This post is not to condemn any person because all any of us can do is that which we know.  But as with every PooNannie Post, it is to spark conversation about behaviors because to be sexually uninhibited is a good thing when in healthy context, but to be “loose” is just irresponsible.

Sexual Guidance is Good Parenting

Our society is moving so fast and parents are so busy running the rat race while sexuality expands, evolves and/or unveils that we are all still trying to figure out where we are sexually, and too many parents, therefore provide little, if any, guidance for our children.  And when left to their own devices, they make it up as they go and their experiences become their truth.  And being the humans we are, when we reinforce our” truth(s)” through conditioning, how we are conditioned becomes our reality.

Let’s face it, sex has never been an easy subject for most adults, even today in our very actively sexual society, parents are still not talking with their children about what it means to be sexually responsible. Mostly, because they themselves have not been, or worse, still are not.

PooNannie: the delicacy between a woman’s legs

(according to the Urban Dictionary)

Delicacy or Stankin’ Tuna?

No, this is not just about loose girls and loose women, we all know that boys and men are as sexually irresponsible, but they can’t do it without you women (you know the exceptions, but I’m not going there in this post)!

Smarter Than Your Private Parts

WOMAN: You are the gatekeepers and you have to get smarter about how you’re using that tool between your legs. Too many of you, especially you “I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T women”, are just doling it out freely, uninterrupted and uninhibited – proving that intellect does not equal smart.

She’s educated! A professional – handling her business and climbing the success ladder all week long, but when dealing with men she trades in her brilliant brain for a box of rocks!

A smart woman wouldn’t dilute the overall value of a delicacy by turning hers into a stankin’ tuna!

“Reputations can be improved, but never removed. You can recover from being a ‘bitch’, but some labels are irreparable…you don’t ever want to be known as the neighborhood ho”.  –Sam Green, Sr. aka My Daddy

The PooNannie is a delicacy. Treat H.E.R. as such – with Honor, Esteem and Respect.

When you do here’s what you’ll find: you’ll attract men who will treat you the same way – with Honor, Esteem and Respect…and you will have deserved it. We tend to get what we accept, not what we deserve. 😉

Enter the Grown Zone…Grown IS Sexy! 😉

If you had any kind of reaction to this post please tell me about it in the comment section below.

And, please share it with your Social Media friends.

All the best,
Zara
Speaker, Individuality Advocate
Author of Living by Design and Living in Harmony

Don’t Let the Ted Williams Story be a Set Up for a Let Down

Ted, You're Looking Good!

One can’t help but feel warm and fuzzy for Ted Williams and his seemingly miraculous journey from homeless to hopeful. But unless a life transformation support system is put in place to secure his success he will soon be helpless, and possibly homeless, again.

It’s hard to find anybody who hasn’t been affected by addiction. Addicts and their family and friends know that it’s a BEAST! The combination of drugs, years of homelessness (especially after knowing a level of success), the added shame, isolation and criminal activity inevitably means a turbulent and long mental, emotional and physiological road ahead for Williams.

A Media and Marketing Ploy
Second chances are great, but let’s be real: These “miracles” of raining job opportunities and employment contracts for Ted Williams are not the end of his trials, but rather the beginning. His sudden access to income poses as much threat as they do potential, so failing to treat his situation holistically is nothing short of a set up for him and his family for even more, greater disappointment.

From Whence Ted Came

A real commitment to Ted Williams would include a life transformation support system that will teach him how to thrive in his new life. Anything other than that is a media ploy of good will that will only benefit its marketers.

(Since posting this blog much has happened with Ted. Here’s a time line of sorts – a journalists account of the media’s “inability to resist the rags to riches to rehab storyline”)

Mommy Cares, but Skeptical
As she should be after 20 plus years of promises and disappointments, “Mommy” (it’s what 54 year old Ted calls his mother) has more proof that Ted won’t make it than she does that he will. From all public accounts she seems to be set in her beliefs and ways.  Like all Mommies, Ms. Julia’s got her own issues. Sure, Mommy wants better for him. But she’s probably not capable of playing a supportive role, at least in the beginning, in Ted’s transformative journey toward stability.

Ms. Julia is who and what she is – for her son’s good or not. She clearly, above all, wants her son to succeed, to make the most of the new opportunities he’s been presented with. And she’s clearly naïve about the intrinsic nature of transformations because her message hasn’t changed – pray. But if natural talent and prayer were enough it would’ve been enough 20 years ago – it was not enough then, and it’s not enough now.

There are many other videos of Ms. Julia’s feelings about Ted. You’ll find them with a quick Google search or at the end of each of these there are links to others.

Have you ever had somebody who served up regular reminders of what a mess you’ve made of your life? Ms. Williams is consumed with the “shame” Ted’s brought on her and their family. She was incapable of just being happy for him; focusing on his being there with her after two decades apart; appreciating that her son is in a better position than she thought was possible for him; and savoring the moment.

Instead, she speaks more of the hurt, pain, shame, and disappointment Ted’s life has brought her than the opportunities for redemption (isn’t that what she’s been praying for?), sustainable living, reconciliation with his children and grandchildren, not to mention the gift to the world he can give again because the man does have a set of pipes that’s soothing to the soul.

Others are not your problem, rather what you BELIEVE about others.

Totally unintentionally, she’d keep him in the past – making it tough to live in the now in order to create a productive future. After all, it’s where she lives – in the past wrongs that she BELIEVES Ted has done to her.

Role of Religion
Her husband (Ted’s father) was a Jehovah’s Witness and Mommy goes to “a nice church” (her words) in Brooklyn. Now depending on what side of the coin you’re on, their prayers have finally worked or their religion is what’s pushed Ted away. All due respect to religions and spiritual beliefs but here’s the thing about redemption and miracles, they need cooperation.  Ted needs some life skills to deal with where he’s been,  what he’s lived and what he BELIEVES about it all in order to successfully navigate where he’s going.

Opportunity is Doomed without Transformation
While many are throwing money at him right now, along with that he needs refining because the moment he embarrasses one of his sponsors, the rug will be pulled and he’ll become the man who was given such tremendous opportunities, but blew it!

What Ted Williams needs is time and space to grow, along with the opportunities. He needs teachers who’ll be friends, too – who will treat him tenderly yet firmly as he develops confidence, discipline, focus and patience. Because voiceover work is about more than speaking; it’s often a game of hurry up, wait and do overs. He’ll need permission to miss it while trying to make it in daily interactions because in the media business, interpersonal and social skills are imperative. He needs to know that it’s okay to be afraid, but not to the point of impeding progress. And he shouldn’t be expected to be an All Star overnight, rather he must be given space to learn – NEXT Decision BETTER, Ted!

Inner City Athletes-Rappers Success Syndrome (ICARSS)
Yeah, I made that up. But the way inner-city kids/young adults who aren’t used to having money and fame screw up opportunities by continuing to operate in all that they know – without any new skills to deal with their new lives – is what we can expect from Ted Williams without a transformation support system. This would include drug counseling and support in recovery, family and relationship therapy, life-skills development, etc., to help in his many transitions.

The list of examples of ICARSS is CRAZY: Lil Wayne, Mike Tyson, Lil Kim, Michael Vick, T.I., Ray Lewis, Mystikal, Ricky Williams, RemyMa, Lawrence Taylor, GucciMane, Michael Irvin, C-Murder, Ray Carruth, Foxy Brown. And the list of self destructive behaviors and collateral damage goes on and on, from jail to broke and every kind of trouble in between, until they learned to effectively live their new lives and acclimate to changing environments.

No, Ted Williams is not a kid – he’s well into his 50s – proof that age has nothing to do with effective living. Everyone has the capacity to learn, as proven by most of the ICARRS examples I just mentioned, but what he needs to learn in order to be considered a success will happen over time, not over night and he WILL have some hiccups and setbacks – many of which are already being set up.

He’s never had an apartment, yet they’ve offered him a house…Set up!

He’s not paid bills yet they’re trusting him to be financially responsible…Set up!

According to him, he hadn’t spoken with his mother in a decade nor seen her in two decades, yet they put them on national television for a “reunion” exposing their vulnerabilities and the dysfunctionality of their relationship…Set up!

He’s not had a relationship with his children, lived on the streets for 20 years, begged to eat, became a repeat felon to support an alcohol and drug addiction and now he’s got thousands of dollars in income being offered, without any new skills to deal with any of it…HUGE Set UP!

Although I made ICARSS up I’ve seen stranger things in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), the bible of psychology – remember where you heard it first.

I want the best for Ted Williams and I hope that those offering him all these wonderful opportunities will collectively commit to him as a project because he’ll need mental and emotional stability – tools to be responsible to and for self and accountable to those paying him. At this point, he’s not even remotely able to handle the pressure of suddenly being depended upon, to be fiscally prudent or to be a real success story.

Praying and hoping for the best is not the same as properly assessing what is and effectively plotting a course that ensures success.

What do you think? Comment below, I’m listening…

And if you enjoyed this post, please share it.

All the best,
Zara
Speaker, Individuality Advocate
Author of Living by Design and Living in Harmony

Holidays Plus Family Are Not Always Happy

Happy Holidays???

Call me the Bubble Burster if you will but I know too many people and have experienced for myself some Unhappy Thanksgivings and Christmases that were anything BUT Merry, not because there’s a lack of love in my family, but because MY FAMILY are not The Cleavers.

So regardless of the holiday when it comes to dealing with family, it’s YOU who needs to change.

I’ll talk about mine for a moment because I ain’t scared of ‘em and they, although not always happy with me for it, KNOW I’ll tell the truth about us – or “my” truth amongst us; it’s liberating for me.

My family is made up of individuals, and like yours, we each have different perspectives of our whole family experience .  Some of us have traveled dicey paths even to the point of wondering HOW we are of the same gene pool, others are educated professionals, others make a decent living working whatever jobs we can get, some don’t and have never worked – know the welfare system well enough to live almost as well as I do, others you might recognize if I mentioned their names, some know the inside of prisons better than their community…you get my point  – we’ve all taken different paths which have led us to living very different lives and different kinds of lifestyles; you name it, we’ve probably got it in our family!

Family Is As Family Does

My beau says that all the time, “Family is as family does.” His way of saying blood does not make one family, consistent loving actions do.  Some of us will fare off far better to adopt this philosophy because the pain of dealing with the blood family members cut deep.

You’re the Problem

For those who don’t have the associated pain of past hurts with family, but are just annoyed by family differences, the problem is likely that you keep expecting that things will be different! The angst about going home is happening within you because you’re hopeful that family members will have changed and THAT’S a problem. If you want to have a better experience WITH them then YOU change.  Ensuring a happier time than you’ve known for the Holidays will start with you. So the question is: what is the one thing that you can SET in your mind to expect It Is What It Is;” that inevitable thing that happens every single time you get around family? You know…the belligerent brother, the controlling sister, the parents – drunken father-in-law or passive mother, the out of control niece… you know the labels you’ve attached to each of ‘em!  Whatever you’ve BEEN doing AIN’T WORKIN’, SO here are some things to consider as you set a more realistic expectation:

  • Decide now, to Live and Let Live because frankly unless they are your children AND under aged, they are NOT YOUR BUSINESS.
  • Decide now to ALLOW what is; to respond differently to the things they do that are different than what you do than you have in the past.
  • Decide now to allow them to be who they are…the same person they are when you are not around. You know very well that it’s what they do all the time; it’s how they live and how things happen when you are not there. You know that they will just return to “normal” – “their” normal – as soon as you leave. As much as you may want different for them, they have as much a right to live their lives as they choose as you do, so decide that you will NOT be fuquitable; you’ll not allow them to ‘tie your panties in a wad’ because as long as you do, they will fuquit you while they – each of them, will go on with their lives as usual, as soon as you leave.
  • Decide now to have a Happy Thanksgiving, in spite of them, with the realization, that you cannot change them, nor their perception of your family experience, moreover, neither should you. You are each entitled to your own perception and interpretations.  It’s your family, not your “project”…none of them!  Each of them is responsible for themselves, as you are for yourself.

Enjoy the Entertainment

So, how should you handle them? You KNOW you have family members who are drama magnets – from the “victim” to the one needing the “spotlight”! If you’re smart you’ll learn to enjoy the entertainment; their lives are so bizarre that you couldn’t make that stuff up, so learn to watch ‘em like a movie; the stranger the stories, the more fascinating.  If you were sitting in a theater watching a movie that kept you on edge, the more captivated you’d be, right?  Learn to watch them the same way.

I’m fascinated by Judge Judy, Judge Mathis, Judge Joe Brown, Judge Lynn Toller (Divorce Court – a favorite!), and my 15 minute daily fix – Maury!  I see things on these shows that my responsible decisions just won’t create as realities in my life.  Well, I don’t know about YOUR family, but members of mine make decisions that create very similar realities…listen and enjoy in the same manner. You’ll rest better and probably live longer – you’ll, at least, have happier Thanksgivings and Merrier Christmases.  And they’ll like you more too!

Power of Choice

Here’s the reality, the holidays won’t make your life with family any more magical so it’s a setup for disappointment to expect that your Thanksgiving with them is supposed to be any ‘happier’ or that your Christmas should be any “merrier”.  If it does turn out to be pleasantly different, be pleasantly surprised, but for many a more realistic expectation is that sometimes you’ll find that going home for Thanksgiving is to increase your gratitude for the rest of the year, or for Christmas, to prove your ability to love despite rather than because; reminding you from whence you came and, that daily, you get to choose the life you live. NEXT Decision BETTER! 😉

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SEX and Your Children: What are YOU Doing?

If you’re over 35 you’re, likely, AS blown away as I am with teen sex today – not just that more of them are having sex (not all)  – regardless of how we feel about it I think most of us have come to grips with it as a fact, but I am so utterly shocked by the stories I hear about the frequency, with whom, and the scope of stuff their doing. For example: several years ago my niece (who was still in high school and a bit of a late bloomer) passed on going to a party and I asked why? She hesitated at first but then told me what kind of party is was – a Rainbow Party: where all the girls wear different colored lipstick, the boys line up and the girls take turns pleasuring them! I was SO BESIDE MYSELF!! I don’t think I slept a wink that night.

Message to the High School Ho
Remember the biggest Ho in your high school? Today she’d be considered a SAINT! If that was you, Honey, these kids have so OUT-HO’D you! I’m talking to degrees that are, again, mind blowing, so let it go, Girl! Next to them, you’ve got NOTHING to be ashamed of. Not only that, y’all know I’m from the school of – “we do what we know to do” and we all deserve room to grow even the kids today, so NEXT Decision BETTER.

Morals – Okay, Religion – NOT!

We can talk morals, which I believe people can have without religion (although many will argue that the lack of religion is why we have the lack of morals – I disagree), but since we’re not in a church I’d prefer it if, for this discussion, that we steer free from factoring in religious beliefs; which would only divide us and push us farther from solutions that we can all use.  Thank you, in advance!

Back to Our Teens
Are y’all talking WITH your children? “With” because it’s AS important for you to listen to what they are saying, to let them TEACH you about social acceptances in their world, hear their specific peer pressures and what they believe about all the information they get when they leave home and YES, what their sexual preferences are.

If you’re NOT talking WITH them about all of these things, then why are you not? If you are, what are you saying to them?  Moreover, what have you learned about them and their sexual perspectives – they’ve got them! I hear parents say, they’re waiting for their children to approach them because they don’t want to broach the subject too soon…tsk, tsk, tsk!

Straight, Gay, Bi, Pan (yep, that’s one now so keep up)
Y’all KNOW I’m all about living your truth, so if you’re gay LIVE IT, PROUDLY and you’ll find a lot of support to do just that! In fact, whatever you determine your truth to be, you’ll find support to live it – and I’m all about that! BUT, I believe young people are such sponges that they need wisdom to help shape their decisions…not to decide for them, but to be amongst what they consider as they are determining what their truth is. Yes, some of your children are gay and your traditional ideology will be challenged so you need to know how to effectively approach, embrace, and navigate life WITH THEM.

STD Rate Skyrocketing: Shit Pills Don’t Cure!
Y’all to put it plainly…when people in my generation were growing up we’d just go get a pill or a shot to cure the sexually transmitted diseases we contracted, (Oh, you didn’t…well welcome to the real world – some of us did and just because you didn’t, didn’t mean you weren’t doing the same things, you just didn’t get caught in this way. Don’t make me dig UNTIL I find some shit on you!) but now-a-days with the many strands of the same diseases it’s getting more difficult to cure them and there’s some shit that a pill just can’t cure and your children are contracting them at greater rates. CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS?!?!

HIV is the scariest, no doubt, although no longer necessarily a death sentence – herpes, which gets far less attention IS A LIFE SENTENCE; it’s rampant and shows up regularly and for many it is mental and emotional torment! For those infected, it doesn’t matter how it was contracted – it’s a regular reminder of sexual carelessness; their own, or worse, the ones they thought they could trust to tell the truth about their sexual activities and past, but did not! These kinds of challenges have proven too much for adults to handle, how much more tormenting for a child?

“Pleasure-Seeking” Promiscuity
From the stories I’m hearing the biggest issue is PROMISCUITY and its ripple effects. Y’all, THIS anything – anybody “pleasure-seeking” promiscuity teens are engaging in today is SCARY – I mean off the charts and the STD rates support it! Again, y’all KNOW I’m all about living your truth, so this is not a bash on same-sex, sex. If you’re gay LIVE IT, PROUDLY!

The tragedy of sexual intercourse is the perpetual virginity of the soul. ~William B. Yeats

Teaching Adults
As a Personal Growth speaker and trainer I take issues most of us deal with and give universal principles that help people make better decisions so that they can rid themselves of what I call, MFRs (the notions of Mistakes, Failures, and Regrets…none of which I give credence).  Here’s what I’m sure about, many parents avoid the issue of sex because it reminds them of how they’ve handled it and they feel shame, embarrassment or like hypocrites talking to their children, or for many just don’t know how.

OUCH!! It’s a reality for many, but parents have to come from a more empowered place; taking ownership of their lives regardless of past experiences and develop mental and emotional tools that aid them to make better decision as they foster the journey of self development and self leadership. This falls in that category.

We grow in 3 ways: Physically, Mentally and Emotionally (Spiritually). The only one that’s optional is Emotional – Personal Growth – AND it’s the only one that’s going to get up to the point of shifting this course!

Concern/Question from a Young Woman
Before writing this blog, I posted a concern on the Grown IS Sexy! Facebook page and a precious young woman, I met while presenting at the Schomburg Center in Harlem earlier this year expressed concerns about whether adults were willing to hear, moreover willing to do the work to positively impact what’s really going on. Well, I’m asking you, adults – particularly parents of young children – what can you do, what do you think others should be doing, how can we all play a part in changing the course of our children, finally, what are you willing to do? How young does this sex thing have to get?

Watch this video…I think it’s criminal!

Can somebody say “PooNannie Principle Intervention”?!  This child is having sex with her clothes on and don’t even know it! What’s worse is that she learned this from adults (likely her Momma!) Oh, you don’t think it could ever be your child, PooNannie Popping? Really! Maybe not in your presence, but if you’ve got BET and they’re with children everyday at school who CAN PooNannie Pop, Oh YES IT CAN!

In many cases those little people outside of your house will have more influence than you do as a parent! This is NOT everybody else’s problem; it’s yours too! Now what are you prepared to do about it? How far is too far? Am I trying to provoke you, ABSOLUTELY!

So, talk to me, please! And with all due respect…again, in my opinion, this is NOT ABOUT RELIGION so please refrain.

Here we GROW again…Grown IS Sexy! 😉

Doing IT Better with ZARA! NEXT Decision…BETTER than your LAST !

If you’ve enjoyed this blog, do me a favor…Share it with Somebody…Thank you!

Oh…and leave a comment…I’m listening…

All the best,
Zara
Speaker, Individuality Advocate
Author of Living by Design and Living in Harmony

My Father, My World: When Healthy Ties Produce Unhealthy Bonds

It was a day that I’ll never forget.  Spring of 2002, a typical beautiful California day – with curtains pulled and windows up – the day that I declared, “If something were to happen to that man I would lose my mind”.

“He was my rock, my strength, my encourager, my number one constant, consistent, and unwavering cheerleader. He was the one, with whom, I could do no wrong. He loved things about me that others hated. Even in my failures  he found good.”  That’s the gist of my part of a conversation while sitting at the kitchen table drinking a cup of gourmet coffee with my, then, roommate.

Me and Daddy

Even today, I know that I am everything I am because he loved me.  The writer of Celine Dion’s song, Because You Loved Me (which is like an old hymnal for me – I cry with gratitude everytime I hear it),  must have channeled us because the song is totally exemplary of our relationship.

There’s only one man that has ever loved me this way, and that I’ve ever felt this way about and that’s, Sam Green, Sr., my Daddy.

I remember that day so well because everything within me cringed with the realization that my dependence on my father was not just unhealthy, but it was unfair…unfair to him and a setup for me to fail; to be devastated should/if/when something happens in his life that stops him from being everything he had been in my life.

My father is to be commended for his commitment to me. Daddy would do anything within his power to make life easier for me; to ease any pain and I love him for it.  I know who I am because of Daddy’s constant reminders to me.  He, not only, recognized my strengths – he reaffirmed them regularly by telling me and by guiding my thoughts and experiences so that they were real to me and he protected them; he directed and supported them.  I put him on a pedestal that no human being is capable of living up to; neither should they be expected to.

I realized that I’d made my Daddy responsible for making me feel good. I realized what an unfair burden I’d placed on him. I realized that it’s not fair to expect anybody, except me, to be responsible for making me feel good.

In that moment at the kitchen table, completely bothered by my discovery, I needed to understand how I, Ms. Independent, got to that place of enormous emotional dependence; I suddenly hungered for total self-reliance.

In every tough spot of life when I’d just take it to Daddy, I was assured his stroking and his approval. Daddy knew how to make me feel good.  Then I realized that as an adult with success in every area – but repeated interpersonal failures (understanding temperaments/personalities enough to teach it, but not live it) – that identifying and correcting the error of my ways was MY responsibility.  Daddy was just doing what he’d always done – made me feel good, but it was up to me to be my best me. I needed to grow up! Would I dare take the journey?

It was that beautiful California day, that I truly became a woman.  That decision led me to appreciate my father for the deposits he made in those formative years and for the support that he’d been my entire life.  I decided that I would no longer call Daddy to make me feel good about my issues.  Instead, I’d resort to the deposits he’d made within me: deposits of courage, resourcefulness, resilience, and persistence.   He’d always told me these reservoirs were at my disposal to understand and overcome everything in my life.  It was easier to turn to Daddy than to trust myself.

The process of owning, accepting, and embracing my weaknesses produced the ability to do for myself what nobody else could ever do.

Today, I still enjoy a very close relationship with my Daddy and I still call him about my issues, but now it’s with reports of how I’ve worked them out. Although, one of the hardest journeys I’ve ever taken, it has birthed enormous inner strength.

I realize that he will not be with me always, so I make every encounter count.  While I adore that old man, when it is his time I can let go with celebration in my heart.  I have a lifetime of wonderful memories with him and I’ll know that I have made the most of our time together. I will – no doubt – have my moments of missing him terribly, but I will continue to live my best life, hugely, in honor of his.

In order to help me to detach from what others think; to courage up and think independently enough to do my own thing Daddy would often tell me, “You came in this world alone, and you’ll leave alone.” I’ve often drawn from that deposit and have expanded its meaning: I came in this world for my own individual, unique journey – much of which I’m responsible for creating – and the state of mind and spirit that I take this journey (and exit from it with) is solely up to me.

Dare you take a parallel journey? We’re Growing UP…Grown IS Sexy! 😉

Do you have a similar experience? Leave a comment…I’m listening…

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All the best,
Zara
Speaker, Individuality Advocate
Author of Living by Design and Living in Harmony