From the Book:
In your family, when you were growing up:
1. Were you treated as though you had a unique kind of genius that was loved and respected?
let me see now.... no.
2. Were you told that you could do and be anything you wanted—and that you’d be loved and admired no matter what it was?right...
"If you were a little girl, you probably weren’t told you were selfish unless you tried to do something you wanted to do that wasn't for anybody but you. And then—especially if you got so wrapped up in it that you forgot to be nice to your baby brother or set the table—it was made swiftly clear that you lacked the quality that makes for lovable people and you’d better shape up.
Women are raised for love. That is, we have been raised to give it in order to get it. Our upbringing trained us to nurture other people. We’re supposed to be good to our children so that they can grow up and realize themselves. We’re supposed to back up our husbands so that they feel free to go out and realize themselves. In other words, the flowers are to grow, and guess what that makes us? Fertilizer—to put it politely. That’s how most of us were taught we would get love—not by being flowers ourselves. If we dared to flower—to be active and self-absorbed and good at things—nobody would feed our roots, and we would die. At least, that’s how it felt."
3. Were you given real help and encouragement in finding out what you wanted to do—and how to do it?
This is where I stop answering the questions - it comes out as no. no. and wait...no.
EXERCISE 3: What You Might Have Been
Now imagine that that gifted child—you—had grown up in a family in which you were:
• treated as though you had a unique kind of genius that was loved and respected . . .
• told that you could do and be anything you wanted—and that you’d be loved and admired no matter what it was . . .
• given real help and encouragement in finding out what you wanted to do and how to do it . . .
• encouraged to explore all your own talents and interests, even if they changed from day to day . . .
• allowed to complain when the going got rough, and given sympathy instead of being told to quit . . .
• bailed out when you got in over your head—without reproach . . .
• surrounded by winners who were pleased when you won.
What do you think you would be doing now? What would you already have done? What kind of person would you be?
Here it goes.
I would be a famous artist and writer. I would use my skills/gifts/talents to help others realize their own talents. I would have horses and dogs and cats, and maybe a bird. I would travel and continue to learn from exceptional people. I would share what I learned to help others improve themselves. My home would have many large windows and I would be able to walk to the water's edge when I needed to quiet myself. I would be explosively creative. I would have a business manager and someone to help organize my home. My laundry would wash itself and hang itself up neatly arranged by colour in my very organized closet. Fresh fruit would be available for me to snack on anytime. I would sing and dance joyfully. I would be a creative and spiritual guide for others. I would love unconditionally. I would paint on HUGE canvases. I would feed people who were hungry. I would preform in local theatre productions. My home would be full of colour, and of art, and occasionally people. Mostly it would be a restful place. I would have sheer bed-curtains around my large pillow filled bed. I would have a front porch to sit on and a screened in back deck. My lover would have a wonderfully active life and we would get together regularly, but would each have our own homes.