Believing is Receiving.

Believing is Receiving.
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“You’re nothing better than a whore.” As a young child I didn’t know what that meant but I did know that every time my dad said it I felt worthless and unloved. As an adult I did my best to escape him. But even when I had the respite of being geographically away from him, I was unable to distance myself from him in my mind. The words with which he had insulted and abused me were a source of torment.

I grew up believing I was unwanted, useless and ugly. With hindsight I can see that as a child I had been placed on the path of self-fulfilling misery because I didn’t believe I deserved any better. In adulthood, one of the main causes of my depression was that I never felt ‘good enough’. That translated into: I wasn’t pretty enough. I wasn’t clever enough. I wasn’t interesting enough. I wasn’t good enough to love. The list was endless.

To enable my emotional healing I had to learn how to deal with all the negative affirmations that I had carried around with me. It was a painstaking process of examining every damaging thought. Those I had previously accepted as a truth, I had to learn to reject as a lie.

“We are what we believe we are.” ~ Benjamin N. Cardozo

No longer allowing the words of others to define me was a breakthrough in my life. After a life-time of believing and receiving the worst, this was not going to come easily. It felt totally unnatural to think positive thoughts about myself or my life, but I was determined to make that transition from victim mentality to survivor mindset.

Occasionally my past does creep back into my thoughts, and sometimes I face criticisms and rejections. But now I no longer internalize them and wear them as a label. Because today I know I am loved, trusted and respected by the people who matter to me. And I love, trust and respect myself.

You can’t change what someone has said to you, but you can change how you respond to it. You can make the decision to stop receiving the bad and start receiving the good. You can stop believing you can’t and start believing you can.

Believing is receiving.

Top image thanks to Jane Hinchcliffe http://www.etsy.com/listing/69841057/believe-signed-limited-edition-print-on

And a massive thank you to the wonderful NZ CATE who awarded me The Compassionate Communicator award.The award is “to recognize and reward those who blog for the benefit of others as well as themselves.” I’m delighted to accept it from this lovely blogger http://infinitesadnessorhope.wordpress.com/

59 Comments

  1. That is so true. It has taken me a long time to turn around what I learnt as a child. It makes me particularly aware of how children learn so easily, and so often end up with a negative message. Thanks for the link. Cate :-)

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    • It’s sad that so many adults spend so much time undoing the messages of the past. Thanks for all your encouragement and support Cate. You’re a star :)

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  2. Carolyn, your words are healing to so many people…. Thank you for sharing them + being so generous with the world from your life experiences. Also, thank you for including my artwork in your blog post. x

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    • Thank you Jane for your lovely comments and I’m delighted at being able to use your artwork!

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  3. Well done on your award Carolyn – hugely deserved!

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  4. I see first hand the damage words and actions can do to young children. As a child myself I was bullied once, and it stays with me to this day…
    I love your words of wisdom.

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    • Thank you Linda for your encouragement! I have just read your profile and you are amazing!

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  5. As I was reading this, some words my mother said to me when I was 16 resurfaced, and only now does the meaning become clear. I always knew she didn’t like me much, but never really put it all together until this moment. Thanks Carolyn!

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    • That is said for you to live the with knowledge that your mother didn’t like you much. So glad you have become the strong woman you are today!

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  6. Kudos to you, Carolyn. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to overcome criticism from the person you love the most. You are to be commended!! Although my father was an alcoholic and disappointed me for his behavior, he never failed to encourage me that I could be and do anything I wanted, that I had no limitations, and always praised me.

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    • Thank you Rita for your comments. What a difficult time you had growing up with an alcoholic father, but you too are proof that a strength of spirit can overcome the negatives of the past.

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  7. So so sorry to hear such harsh words rendered towards a child. You are a beautiful spirit and your sweetness and genuine love for humanity is so obvious. I feel privileged every time I read your blog that we have connected. Blessings on all the work you do!

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    • Thank you Martha for such lovely comments. I really appreciate them!

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  8. Excellent post Carolyn – I’m sorry that you experienced such criticism in the past and I am very glad to see how you’ve been able to grow past it. I particularly loved your comment… “You can’t change what someone has said to you, but you can change how you respond to it.” – Amen to that :).

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    • I just wish I had learnt this sooner Moira! Thank you for your comments!

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  9. Carolyn, it is heartbreaking that an adult, especially a father, would say such a cruel lie to you. I am so glad that you are leaving that behind and making such a beautiful life for yourself…big, big hugs to you, you amazingly creative and wonderful person!

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    • Sherie, you always leave such positive affirmations in your comments that make me feel wonderful. Thank you:)

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  10. “You can’t change what someone has said to you, but you can change how you respond to it.” You know, I’ve learned that hurting people hurt other people. It’s just the way it is and knowing that helps me to forgive faster. And I can let it go… So yes, I have learned to change the way I respond. It’s a liberating thing. Thanks Carolyn. Great stuff here! x0x

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    • I agree with you Norma. It is liberating to realise that you have a choice as to how you respond. Thank you for your comments!

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  11. What a powerful post! As someone who found healing from my first two decades of life being dominated by abusers, I applaud your tenacious path to wholeness. And a hearty YES! to “We are what we believe we are” and choosing a new identity.

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    • Congratulations on finding your healing and your new identity after all those years of being controlled by others!

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  12. I continually love coming here to read your articles. You formulate and explain things so well. Very inspiring.

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    • Thank you for your lovely comments Jamie :)

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  13. Carolyn, You hit the nail on the head with this post, and in many more of Your posts before this one. I love the quote “No-one can make You feel inferior without Your consent” and I have to agree 100%. It just takes one really negative comment to hit us where it hurts, and that one comment can do the same damage as a million. It takes strength to overcome these insults, and personally, what I like to remember, is that people generally attack You for the very things they dislike about themselves.

    What I also like to hold onto is the realisation that I can either take the good, or the bad from every situation, and it really is a choice … Today, I choose to be happy, I choose to take the good :)

    Thank You for the reminder, I needed this Today! Congratulations on Your award, I can’t think of a more deserving person, You have truly inspired and motivated me when I have really needed it.

    Don’t let the limited view of others restrict your vision or ability to be individually YOU!

    Stay Beautiful and keep shining Carolyn <3

    Reply
    • That’s a good point you make Christine that the person generally attacks you for the very things they dislike about themselves. So true! I love your comment not to let “the limited view of others restrict your vision”. That was very helpful to me today! So great to connect with you :)

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  14. Wonderful post Carolyn. I to know what you mean. I did not really have abuse parents, but my mother alway thought she was teaching me when she said, “You didn’t do that right.” I got to the point where ok i can’t do anything right. It has taken years to get past this and learn I can do things right.

    Love this too “You can’t change what someone has said to you, but you can change how you respond to it.”

    I have learned to change my response. Thanks again and blessing to you,
    debbie

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    • How awful for you Debbie to be growing up feeling that nothing you did was right. It would indeed take years to get past that. I glad to read you have learned to change your response. love and blessings to you too!

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  15. I admire your honesty about your past here, Carolyn — I know that, for me, talking about past experiences that were difficult for me has been a great source of strength and resolution for me, and I imagine maybe the same is true for you.

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    • Being open about the past for me is a way to free my mind up! Thank you for your comments Chris!

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  16. oh wow Carolyn, you went through so much and look at you what you are doing on the other side of your painful story! I know how much words can hurt, especially as a child. But it is also amazing how strong God has made us to overcome things that are almost too much for us.

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    • Thank you for your inspiring comments Olga. I really appreciate your support!

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      • I love the fact that we are connected….I will ask you to be a guestblogger pretty soon if you would like that!

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  17. I love this Believing is receiving ! Very empowering post Carolyn ! just beautiful! No one can make you feel any way unless you allow it! This is just what I needed to hear . I love your posts as well as your pictures.

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    • Thank you for all your kind comments Barbara!

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  18. I am so very sorry to read some of what you have been through Carolyn. The child in me knows thatr kind of thing only to well and the parent in me want so very much to remove my children from such things.

    I really loved the post and congratulate you on your approach.
    Kind Regards and God bless you.
    Kevin,

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    • Thank you for your kind comments Kevin. It’s such a blessing that as parents we can break the chain of negativity and give our children so much more :)

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  19. What a powerful way to redeem a wounded past for the Glory of God and the help of others.
    I John reminds us that what is most important isn’t even what we think about God, but what He thinks about us. HE thinks we are remarkable!

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    • That’s a wonderful comment Matthew! Thankyou!

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  20. Carolyn – this is such an inspiring post – my gosh what you’ve survived is incredible. And not just survived but how you’ve overcome and gone on to such a peaceful place where you control your life — big, big kudos to you! And speaking of kudos – congratulations on receiving The Compassionate Communicator Aware — so deserved, Carolyn!!

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    • Thank you for all your wonderful comments and support Lisa!

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  21. Heartfelt post, Carolyn. The words sting just reading them. When they did to you as a child is hard to imagine. So glad you were able to find out who you were really were and how worthy you were of love. Thanks for sharing your story – I know it helps others.

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    • It’s a shame that many adults do spend so much time undoing the past hurts. Thank you for your comments Cathy.

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  22. You are an inspiration, Carolyn, to have such breakthrough despite all the negative words.

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    • Thank you Claudia. I appreciate your comments!

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  23. So sad and yet so true the power words have. I devoted an entire chapter to it in my book because it can make or break a child’s future. I’m so glad you have been able to find healing and share your story so honestly. It’s inspiring to know you’ve been able to move forward into all God has called you to in spite of growing up under such a negative covering. Blessings!

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    • The power of words is immense. They can make or break you! Thank you for your comments and I look forward to checking out your book :)

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  24. Your blogs always make me really look inward and search my own soul for anything that I may be holding on to. I thought that last paragraph was very profound. Inspirational as always.

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    • Thank you Ron for your continued encouragement!

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  25. My heart breaks for you Carolyn! It is a powerful reminder that words can do tremendous damage. So glad that you have found healing and hope. May God bless you as you are using your experiences to help others!

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  26. Reblogged this on The Caged Bird Still Sings and commented:
    The Hurt Healer is such an inspirational blog, and is personally one of my favorites to read. The words, the pain, and the encouragement that is presented in every post, always touches me and forces me to deal and sort through my own similar experiences.

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    • Thank you Lauren for your reblog and your encouraging comments. :)

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  27. Dear Carolyn – you’re so much more than a survivor! You’re a true inspiration to me!

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  28. Hi Carolyn, I was so moved by your words. You’re so much more than a survivor! You are a very inspirational woman!

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    • Thank you Sue for your comments! I really appreciate your encouragement :)

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  29. Thank you Carolyn for your helpful words. The past is often a painful reminder of, we’ll, the past. I had a mean step-dad who made me feel like crap everyday. I still struggle with the mind set that he instilled in me.

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    • The words that are spoken over us and to us as a child can make us or break us. But as adults we have to find the strength to put that behind us and choose to believe the best in ourselves. Very hard to do after a painful childhood but take it a little step at a time! You were a beautiful person then and you are a beautiful person now. :)

      Reply

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