If one is determined they are resolute, steadfast and purposeful. These character traits can work for us, or against us. Historically speaking, I am a determined individual. I can be plucky, hell-bent and staunch. But, I have to keep a close eye on where determination is taking me.
I started out as a contented, cheerful and light-hearted little girl. Even though I was the sixth of seven kids who received her fair dose of teasing, taunting and at times tormented by my older siblings, it was not unbearable. I accepted my fair share of goodness too.
For instance there were the sleepovers at grandma’s house, which included a special breakfast of Cocoa-Wheats and homemade cinnamon rolls. Also, I could always rely on my Dad; the safety of his lap, his enfolding and loving arms and his smile that assured me that I was his favorite.
But when I was thirteen-years-old he took his own life and my world turned up-side-down and into a state of confusion. I turned into an angry teenager skipping school and getting high to try and deaden my pain. When I turned eighteen and graduated from high school, I left home. I was determined that I could make a happy life for myself.
I went to college, fell in love, got married and became a mom. On the outside, I looked normal. But inside I churned with old anger, simmered in rancid bitterness and pulsated with the shameful secret of Dad’s suicide.
Sometimes, angry words spilled out of my mouth and all over our rebellious teenage son, “I can’t believe you are doing this to us.” Then more of the same onto my gentle spirited husband, “I can’t believe you can’t do something about him.”
My rage scared me and that happy life I was so determined to create for myself never materialized. How could it?
Then someone suggested I journal. My fury spilled out, this time onto paper. I filled notebooks with everything I’d kept concealed inside my head. When a friend invited me to her writer’s group, I wondered, “Do I belong here?” But the women were friendly, kind and welcoming. They encouraged me and I trusted what they said to be true. I kept writing.
When Jenny, one of the members of the group told me that I had what it took to write my story, I believed her and wrote it. I was no longer determined to create a happy life for myself, instead I was intent on becoming whole.
Why bother considering your determination? We all want to be happy, but happiness is a result of becoming whole. Be steadfast toward your healing and your happiness will come.