Where Does the Shift in Your Consciousness Begin When it Comes to Transformation?
My mom used to work as a cleaner.
I remember the distinctive smell of bleach and other cleaning products when she would come home from work and give me a kiss.
I remember her rough and dry hands since she didn’t use any gloves.
I was ashamed of my mom being a janitor, while my mates’ moms were either teachers, doctors or office workers.
I was never comfortable sharing about my mom’s profession. As if it was diminishing my own personal value.
Why my mom couldn’t be like other moms? Smart, intelligent, have a prestigious job, so other kids wouldn’t make fun of me that my mom is a janitor..
You see, my mom is an uneducated and a very limited lady. She is an amazing mom and a great wife, but she has the small town person mentality.
It took me a long time to be able to openly share about my mom, making an emphasis on the fact that she is an amazing mom and it doesn’t matter what she did to make a living.
There was no shame in the fact that she was cleaning offices.
The shame was rooted in my interpretation of her profession.
You see, growing up in poverty in a small Ukrainian village I made an erroneous conclusion that we were not worthy that’s why we didn’t have much.
I believed I wasn’t good enough compared to other kids and what they had, what clothes they wore and what toys they played with.
My attention was focused outward. When you are a child, you cannot really grasp the concept of unconditional self-worth.
The legacy of my poor self-image was significantly limiting my life long after I “escaped” poverty.
You can escape your conditions and circumstances but you cannot escape yourself.
So, although I was in the USA, my poor self-esteem was creating my results. The results I was so fed up with.
I was working as a waitress. Besides cleaning tables and carrying trays of dirty dishes, at times I had to mop the floors as well.
One night it occurred to me, “I am a janitor. Just like my mom.”
The dark wave of shame engulfed me completely, almost paralysing me.
I couldn’t believe how our environment shapes us to the degree that we recreate the same conditions and circumstances no matter where we go, even if it is a different country.
I was full of shame. I didn’t want to clean for living. I used to even lie to my parents that I was a manager’s assistant at the restaurants I worked at.
One night, working a night shift, being exhausted physically and emotionally, I made a firm decision to step up from being a server in a restaurant to become a server of the world.
It didn’t happen overnight. Nothing really outwardly changed. But everything inwardly changed.
I got clarity in a new direction.
I decided I am going to build my life by design, not by default, like my parents did.
At that moment I felt ashamed for being ashamed of my mom for being who she was.
When I faced that feeling of shame, I accepted it. I wasn’t trying to run away from it like I was before.
The fact that mom wasn’t aware of other ways to earn money other than cleaning didn’t make her less of a person. It didn’t diminish her intrinsic worth.
Acceptance is the first step to transformation.
I felt at peace with those reflections.
I phoned my mom and told her how much I loved her.
Uprooting those negative beliefs about myself was quite a process of self-discovery and self-creation really.
Now that I am helping other women build a healthy self-image to create the life of their dreams, I see that we might have different circumstances and stories keeping us stuck, but the challenges are universal to us all.
The biggest challenge we ever face is ourselves and our limitations of what’s possible for us.
If you are not happy with any conditions or circumstances of your life, you can change them. Not by directly trying to change those conditions and circumstances, but by changing your self-concept.
The inside out approach is the one that will truly transform your life on a long-term basis.