§ We came to this world to LIVE OUT LOUD!
I’m Uncomfortable with My Privilege
I’ve been feeling a nagging sensation in the pit of my stomach lately, which I recognize as shame.
I also know that my shame is a huge gift.
An opportunity to look at all the places where I have not yet claimed the magnificence of who I am and who I can be. To transform any limiting beliefs I still have about myself and the world.
Especially now, a time in history when it’s easy to have limiting beliefs.
It’s also a time of great change as we begin to realize at a deeper level just how unjust the society we have created is and work to change it.
My shame has to do with my economic privilege. The privilege I have as a result of other HUGE privileges – being born into a race which is not discriminated against and into a family that values education.
My family and I emigrated from Kiev, Ukraine when I was 8 years old. Even though my parents were highly educated, we left the Soviet Union with nothing and had to start over from scratch in the United States. My first bed was a mattress on the floor which my parents found in the trash behind our cockroach infested apartment building in Chicago. I slept on it for two years until there was enough money to buy a new one.
My parents worked non-stop to achieve the American dream – a condo in the suburbs which was upgraded to a house with a yard a couple of years later. Two cars. Annual one week vacations which progressed from camping in the Midwest to resorts in Mexico and later, to trips to Europe. They saved as much as they could to put me through the best school I could get into – the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League University.
My education gave me the opportunity to advance economically in life. To meet people from backgrounds very different from mine. To learn that I can be anything I want to be. To turn my dreams into reality.
I have long compared my American immigrant experience to that of people I’ve met whose skin color is different from mine. Their parents had to struggle a lot more to achieve what my parents were able to achieve. Most were never able to get there.
I lost my foreign accent quickly and was able to blend with the majority and thus reap the rewards that come with it. My darker skinned friends were always asked “where are you from?” even though they too spoke English without a foreign accent.
Not that it was always easy. I had to overcome a lot of childhood trauma – sexual, emotional and physical abuse – to make the most of my possibilities.
I have had to continue this work every day since. To prioritize feeling good in my body, mind and spirit through exercise, meditation and energetic release work every single day. Skipping more than a day or two isn’t an option for me. Unless I want my anxiety will return and run my life.
When I got a job at the World Bank straight out of University, traveling the world on a five-star budget and meeting with captains of industry, working on multi-million-dollar economic development projects. My parents could only dream about a job like this.
When I left that job to travel the world with a backpack in my twenties and returned connected to my desire to study psychology and embark on a different career path. I gave up all the trappings of conventional success and took a job running a program for homeless women in Washington DC who were struggling with addiction.
When I prioritized self-care and spending time with my kids while working at my coaching business part-time. After my parents worked so hard for me to get that education, how could I throw away all of my professional opportunities?
When Facebook “friends” from high school commented negatively on the life I created for myself. “Who do you think you are to have so much abundance in your life? A happy family, travel, work that you love, time to enjoy it?” is what I heard in their comments.
My shame is the shame we all feel when we think that we are not worthy of abundance. We are not worthy of our dream life.
I allow it to show me the places I need to heal and transform inside myself.
To claim my worthiness. To celebrate my achievements. To feel gratitude for all the bounty of my life.
You know I love hearing from you so feel free to leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. I’ve received such amazing feedback about my Wisdom Wednesday series that I’m expanding it even more!
These are FREE 5 – 10 minute short, actionable videos recorded with me FOR YOU by world-renowned experts to help you thrive in these challenging times.
This week, I’m interviewing THREE amazing women:
Dr. Lucia Giovannini – a transformational speaker and author of 13 books. Her best-selling book ‘A Whole New Life’ has been translated into 8 languages. She has been called “the Italian Louise Hay” by prestigious media outlets.
Tricia Nelson – an Emotional Eating Expert and author of the #1 bestselling book, Heal Your Hunger, 7 Simple Steps to End Emotional Eating Now. She is the host of the popular podcast, The Heal Your Hunger Show and has been featured on NBC, CBS, KTLA, FOX and Discovery Health.
Bonnie Harris – a child behavior and parenting specialist for over twenty-five years and author of two highly acclaimed books, When Your Kids Push Your Buttons and Confident Parents, Remarkable Kids: 8 Principles for Raising Kids You’ll Love to Live With.
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