The World Can Be A Cold Place, If You See It That Way
Throughout the greater portion of my early adulthood, my favorite narrative was “my child was taken from me”. No parent is perfect, and for those of us who come from homes where the environment wasn’t as nurturing as needed it to be, I’m sure you can relate.
I was the typical numb person walking around punching the clock until it was time to go home. I would complain about every little thing that seemed to make time slow down. If you had something positive to say, I was the first to find something negative to say about it.
I was an adult now, and the harsh reality of the world had set in. I hated everyone who had more freedom than I did. Smiling faces would make me instantly angry, because they had something I didn’t, or at least that’s what my excuse was for being so unpleasant.
The Tournament That Changed My Life
I prepared for the Navy Boxing team for 2 years, and both years the tryouts were closed due to not enough funding support from “Big Navy”. The team sucked! All that work I put in for 2 years, sacrificing my body at a local boxing gym 6 days a week, for nothing.
I learned a lot from boxing, more so from the sparring than from the actual matches themselves. I switched boxing gyms 6 months into my first boxing gym. The coach there completely ignored the fact that I was trying to go to the 2016 Olympics, because he told me that I was “good enough to turn pro now”…with one amateur fight underneath my belt (which I lost).
After training for 5 months and relearning the proper basics of boxing at my new boxing gym, it was show time. My new boxing coach entered me into the 2014 Northern California Golden gloves tournament. I had only one fight, one loss on my record, but I felt like I was ready to fight Mayweather after all of those months of preparation.
My biological mother came down to show support, and that weekend was a weekend I’ll never forget. She went straight for the jugular. The main reason I even started boxing was because I was angry and I had a falling out with my father the year prior. I hated him.
What she said to me will forever be the basis by which I observe how people interact with me, whether negative or positive. During a highly emotionally conversation about why I was a walking time bomb, she paraphrased these infamous words from a Maya Angelou quote, in her own words.
“Baby, when people know better, they do better”
Presently at the age of 31, my relationship with my stepmom is something to die for. We understand each other like no other, and honestly, the way she raised me was genius, but when I was a child, I didn’t see it that way.
Although I grew up in a upper middle class family from the age of 10 until I graduated from high school, my parents made me earn everything I ever got. I was spoiled, but I earned every bit of it. My father and my stepmom were both teachers, so as you would imagine, I grew up in a strict household, and dreaming was forbidden.
There is no doubt in my mind that my stepmother loved me, but at that time, I couldn’t feel it. I needed more, and looking back now, at that time in her life, she wasn’t capable of giving it to me. She taught me to think “realistically”. She was preparing me to survive in a cold world where you had to work for everything.
So It Begins
I cried profusely when my biological mother uttered those paraphrased words that I needed to hear, but instantly I got it, and I was able to forgive my stepmother, and something profound happened afterward. My healing process began.
I got the bronze medal during the golden gloves tournament, but what my mother gave me was worth more than Olympic gold. A little hand reached out from the past, and took me by the hand. This little boy that I thought I would never see again, was sitting in the shadows with his folded and hands cupping his face, waiting on my awakening.
Seeing Life Through The Eyes Of A Child
I tell you the back story above so that you won’t grow up. Ever. We age, but we have the choice to grow up, and the choice to see life through the eyes of innocence or through the eyes of reality. Reality is an illusion, because it can change on a dime, the moment we make a decision.
Children decide, adults accept and take what they are given. If a child doesn’t like something, they’ll fight for what they really want, until they get it. Through the eyes of a child, all possibilities exist. Through the eyes of innocence, there’s a naiveté that brings forth a thousand worlds.
The beauty in being an adult is that we are at that place to where the resources we didn’t have as children, we can now gain access to. No matter what it is you want, you can have it, if you never grow up, and also because age and experience has equipped you to be resourceful enough to make it happen.
Like A Virgin
One of my favorite role models is Richard Branson. What I love the most about him is that he dreams like a child, and uses his ability as an adult to make those ideas come to fruition. Everyday is an adventure to him, and everything is done out of pushing his own limits, as opposed to doing everything from the place of desperation and lack.
Adults are aware of what they don’t have, children are aware of the possibilities. Adults are unaware of the possibilities, children are unaware of what they don’t have. This is what I have learned from Richard Branson through observing his success with his Virgin companies. He’s bold and fearless as a child. He’s only concerned with possibility, just like a child.
Many of us are conditioned to think like adults throughout our child hood. We don’t believe in magic because we see life through the eyes of survival, through the eyes of an adult. The way we were conditioned isn’t our fault, but if we choose to stay there, we can blame no one for the outcome of our lives but ourselves.
My Challenge To You
Study and observe children. If you have children of your own, switch roles with them and let them be the mentor, while you be the mentee. Children are limitless, because they are unaware of their own limitations. They are limitless because they are born that way, until you tell them they can’t do something. They don’t have limits, until you weigh them down with what society has conditioned YOU to believe.
When you become a child, you become the master. You become master of yourself, your thoughts, your actions and your reality. When you become a child, you are fully aware of who you are and what you truly want. Children are born perfect and all knowing, but through integrating them into society, we take away their power by placing limits on them that were never there’s to have in the first place.
Don’t ever grow up, is my challenge to you, no matter what your age is at the time of reading this. If you’ve happened to grow up by the time you’ve read this, stop it. Unlearn everything you’ve learned up to this point. Your true power is found in unbecoming everything you think is you. You were perfect before anyone told you anything was wrong with you, and you knew all there was to know, before someone told you what you had to learn.