Jul/Aug 2012, Pg 29
Simple Soul Survival
By Lindy Tefft
Have you ever felt cast aside because you were not considered to be the “important one”. You hide those tears that well up in your eyes. That lump in your throat and knot in your stomach never seem to go away. You attend those business meetings but are considered the silent partner who is to be seen and not heard. You are expected to sit quietly and feel that it is a privilege for you to even be there. You know in your heart and soul that you have so much to offer BUT, your husband, boyfriend, business partner etc. says “You are not the one they want, it’s me.” How many times can you be hushed up, told that you are not good enough, forced to take a secretarial role when you know you could be president and shoved in the back seat when you know you are the one that should be driving the car? Even those beautiful sunny days look cloudy as you robotically put one foot in front of the other and turn off your feelings and emotions just to survive.
I married Mr. America - does that say enough? This celebrity was my husband at the time. He was the only man to ever be a triple crown natural Mr. America. When he took center stage there was no room for anyone else. And, everyone wanted a piece of that celebrity. My years and years of oppression caused a severe depression and I didn’t realize how bad it really was until one morning, I was shocked to look in the mirror and see that I had Bell’s Palsy. Half of my face was paralyzed. That was the beginning of a downward spiral into a severe nervous breakdown.
It was a long, lonely, and very tedious get well process that lasted almost five years. Through so much searching and, as the medical profession did not provide any answers, I finally began to understand what was really going on. I “survived” this oppression by stuffing my emotions to try to fit in, which eventually wreaked havoc mentally and physically.
So you ask yourself, what happened? In all the chaos where do I start? It took me time and research to realize that I attracted this entire situation through the low self-esteem of a severely abused child. I was trained at a very young age to be a “servant” and kept this abusive pattern in my relationships. As I continued to study and research further, I realized that part of my giving so much was the desire and need to be loved. Because of this, I created unhealthy co-dependent relationships.
The first place to start is to realize that the lack of self-love is what got us into this situation or attracted this person to us in the first place. We must start doing little things for ourselves be it a facial, a walk in a beautiful place, shopping or reading a book that makes us feel good. It’s important to remember this feeling of feeling good so during the difficult times we can relate back to that moment. Know that if we can create these happy moments, then we can create more happy moments for ourselves. We are the only one that can truly make ourselves happy. The more that we find happiness on the inside, the stronger we become. With this strength, we attract more happiness on the outside. We also realize that we have a choice and there is ALWAYS a choice. This realization of choice and the choice to love ourselves are the first steps of moving out of the co-dependency mode. We now begin to steer our own lives with our own choices rather than have someone else steer it for us. The best choices come from being totally honest with ourselves which is a process that takes time as we learn more about ourselves. With this honesty comes a sense of peace as we gain control of our own lives. But, we must be patient with ourselves and with all the gentleness and love that we show our children or our best friends, we must also show ourselves and become our own best friend.
Life can get so complicated that any form of simplicity seems to go by the wayside. But, simplicity is what we all must strive towards. It all boils down to going back to the bare basics and sometimes even just taking our lives moment by moment knowing that the past is gone and the future doesn’t exist, and that all we have is the here and now.
I can honestly say that even though I still have challenges as we all do, I luxuriate in the fact that I can honor myself as ‘SIMPLY LINDY’.
Lindy Tefft was born in and still lives in Southern California. A highly creative individual, Lindy is a lyricist and won a Billboard Award for one of her many songs. In her next book, Soul Strings, Tefft synthesizes poetry, her own nature photography, and guides the reader step by step in becoming their authentic self. With her blog "Simply Lindy", and as a motivational speaker, Lindy is inspiring many to have the courage to walk through their fears and follow their inner voice. www.simplylindy.com