I worry that what I’m about to say won’t come out politically correct toward myself. Don’t get me wrong. In being politically incorrect toward myself, I don’t desire to diminish myself. My wish is quite the opposite. My intention is to be liberation-ally correct toward myself. If you haven’t heard of “liberation-ally correct,” it’s because I just made it up.
So buckle up. Here we go on Jason Freeman’s “Liberation-ally Correct” Journey:
I used to think that the fact that I have a disability somehow made my speech impediment and coordination differences the master of how I acted.
It was as if I was a passenger in the car of my life, numbly observing my surroundings, while my speech impediment was talking to Siri, and Siri was somehow doing the driving.
In that scenario, my speech impediment would say, “Siri turn left,” and Siri wouldn’t understand and drive straight into the snow bank.
Basically, when I let my sense of my disability do the driving, I spent lots of time being stuck.
Don’t get me wrong, I did figure out plenty of ways to spin my wheels and dig myself deeper and deeper into that snow bank.
I figured being born with birth trauma somehow entitled me to forever have a chip on my shoulder and play the “I Can’t Do What I Want In Life Because Of My Circumstances” card and also the, “Since I Can’t Do What I Want In Life, It’s Other People’s Job To Provide For Me” card.
Let me tell you, the people around me rejoiced whenever I chose to play those cards.
No, when I played these cards, people probably felt a bit guilty, as if they were obligated to do something for me.
In other words, the chip on my shoulder was about as appetizing as a stale potato chip to them.
[And that’s one really strange sentence]
Have you ever had days when you played your “I Can’t Do What I Want In Life Because Of My Circumstances” card?
How about your “If I Can’t Do What I Want In Life, It’s Other People’s Job To Provide For Me” card?
Have you ever played them both in tandem?
I imagine we all have.
Even thinking about laying these cards down makes me feel heavy inside and start to feel like a V…..
I haven’t said the V-word yet in this blog, and no the V-word I’m referring to is not “Very,” as in Very good monster cookies, but Victim.
YES, I used to be addicted to being a victim of my disability. I admit I often played the two cards I described above as part of my addiction.
Do I fault myself for playing them so many times in the past?
Well, if I had my life to live over, I would make every effort to find confidence and empowerment much earlier in life, so that I could use my disability as an asset rather than a painful excuse.
But I don’t have my past to live over. I don’t have an option to undo my choice in playing those cards. If I spend my days wishing that I hadn’t chosen to act like a victim on so many occasions in the past, ironically, I would just become a victim to a past I have absolutely no power to change.
Now days, I do my imperfect best to use the circumstance of having a disability to create the most abundant life I possibly can.
I also do my imperfect best to love others and help them on their journey in the same way they love me and help me on my journey. I find that focusing on love instead of obligation and guilt makes a huge difference.
Do I still sometimes fall into that old habit of playing the victim and lay my cards down? Of course! But I try to use them less and less because acting in an empowering way feels so much better to me.
I could have spent my life making a habit of playing those two cards day in and day out. There was no reason I HAD TO CHANGE.
But I wanted liberation from being a victim, liberation from feeling the way about my life that I felt about it. I don’t have this all figured out by any stretch of the imagination, so my “Liberation-ally Correct” Journey continues. However now I’m proud to report that I feel like I’m driving the car with as much awareness as I can muster, which sure beats constantly feeling stuck in a metaphorical snow bank.
Each of our journeys are different. That’s part of the wonder, beauty and mystery of life.
Questions for you to consider:
What does doing liberationally-correct mean to you?
What’s the next micro step you could take in the direction you want to go?
JASON FREEMAN is a Professional Speaker and the proud owner of a Speech Impediment. He is also the author of “Awkwardly Awesome: Embracing My Imperfect Best” and a Perseverance Coach.
He excites and encourages his audience to break through the barriers of their own limitations using a method he created, called “doing your Imperfect Best ™”.
His Imperfect TEDx Talk can be viewed here.