May 1, 2016
My mother and I had an uneasy relationship. I grew up watching my mother, day-in and day-out, gossiping up a storm on the telephone with her female friends.
Something about it never sat right with me and this could also be another reason why my mother and I, never had a close relationship.
I grew up in rural Georgia. I was the 6th child of 9 children. By the time I came along, my mother and my father had already picked out their favorite children. I was the youngest daughter with 3 older sisters, two in particular that my mother and father idealized.
As the youngest daughter, I was able to sit back and watch the dynamics of my family play out and this is how I became a good listener.
Not only was I the youngest daughter with 3 older sisters and 3 younger brothers, I was the family's black sheep. Being the family's black sheep is no longer a negative thing.
Somehow, I just knew early on that being the family's black sheep would propel me into greatness - and it has. You can never let anyone define your level of success or greatness, so you have to define it yourself.
What it did was allow me to live life on my own terms.
Eventually, after high school I left home and never returned for the next 20 years. During that time, my father, who was a functional alcoholic, passed away.
I chose not to be a part of my family's life, because of the negativity I experienced growing up. Making this decision was right for me in order to hold onto my own sanity and I am sure many people today, would agree with me when I make the statement that "Your friends could be your family - blood has nothing to do with it!"
After my daughters turned 13 and 14, I eventually decided to move back home to the same state that I grew up in, so they could be around my family before they graduated high school and went off to college.
However, the bond and nurturing my daughters hoped for never surfaced, especially from their grandmother. I saw the disappointment on their faces when they realized, that it would be as good as it would get.
My mother passed away 5 years ago at the age of 82. I spent the last few weeks of her life by her bedside sitting with her, so I was able to make peace with my decision for choosing to move away from home, and not stay in touch with them.
Well that's my story and I have no remorse about how I chose to live my life. As I age, there is one thing I know for sure, that I am responsible for my own life and actions, and when you reach a certain point in your life, you have to set standards for your own life.
I will no longer put up with others, especially women who criticizes, complains and gossip. They will never be in my circle of acquaintances.
You see people everyday who are frustrated with their lives, especially many women. Instead of taking action to change many situations in their lives, they criticize, complain and gossip about everything and everyone under the sun.
They do this in their own communities, and also on the internet. The person I am today is because of the books that I read and the books that I write.
One book I read said when you gossip about someone you are actually committing "little murders" by defaming that person's character.
You are gossiping about them simple because you can't get an audience with that person. And that sounds pretty accurate - right?
The book was given to me by my youngest daughter years ago and it was entitled "A Complaint Free World." After reading the book you should order the purple bracelets and try to go 3 weeks straight without criticizing, complaining and gossiping.
Most people can't do that, especially most women. Remember it takes 2 to 3 weeks to form new habits. If you can do this, it will bring more peace, joy and happiness into your life.
It works because it worked for me years ago. I recently bought the audiobook version, so every month I take time to listen to parts of it to remind me of how I need to stay on track, and not complain, criticize and gossip.
Instead, I have learned how to be grateful and show gratitude for everyone and everything in my life. We are all a work in progress, so don't beat yourself up if you have to read the book several times to actually get it.
We are only on this earth a short time and everyone needs to decide today, whether they will be a part of the problem or a part of the solution.
It's never too late to transform your life and create the type of life that you truly can love. The choice is simple! Don't choose to be a part of a generation that continues to 'break the spirit' of the common day man by criticizing, complaining and gossiping about others. Life is too short!!!
Cathy Harris is an Advice Columnist at DearCathy.com , an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker and the author of 23 non-fiction books, including 4 books on health, and can be contacted through her empowerment company, Angels Press, P.O. Box 19282, Austin, TX 78760, Phone: (512) 909-7365, Website: http://www.angelspress.com, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. She is available for seminars, workshops and webinars athttp://www.CathyHarrisInternational.com .
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