It was a morning in October of 1971; I woke up and realized we were late for school and my mother was still sleeping in her bed. Because it was not like my mother to sleep in, my inner-child care-giver mode kicked in and I tried to shake her awake while letting her know we were late for school.
She rolled over and told me to go back to my room. Thinking she wasn't grasping the situation, I was trying to tell her to get out of bed when she said, "trust me, go back to bed, I'll explain everything to you later."
Several hours later, mom gathered me and my four siblings in the living room and told us our dad had left us. He had quit his job and left town with his secretary and then she took us to school. I could not wrap my head around what had happened and couldn't understand how we were expected to go to school as if nothing had happened.
When I got home from school, I walked up the driveway to find my mother's wedding gown, wedding pictures and pictures of my dad in the trash can. In 1971 the stigma of coming from a broken home was truly something to be ashamed of. It took years for me to heal the feelings and beliefs of shame, guilt, degradation, humiliation, and abandonment.
Looking back, my rational, adult-mind used to wonder why his abandonment of our family didn't bring us happiness. Why hadn't we thrown a party and danced every happy dance we knew now that he was out of our lives? After all, now that he was gone, I would be free from the mental, verbal and physical abuse that had escalated to sexual abuse by the time I was 12 years old.
But that's not how my child-self saw our situation. I did not have the "knowing" at that time that I had created beliefs from being mentally, physically, verbally and sexually abused and then abandoned, that this is who I am.
In the 1970's there was no internet, and yet the Universe has always been there, guiding me, watching over me and showing me The Way! I don't know how or where I found it but I came across a message called "Don't Quit". I remember writing it down and sending the message in a letter to my dad. I wanted him to know that I thought quitting our family was not acceptable.
And now, 50+ years later, I am still sharing this message with others. At some point I learned the value of this message was not to admonish someone else in judgment of their choices but for me to remind myself to never quit believing in my value, my self-worth and my dreams.
And now, I'm sharing this message with you to encourage you to never give up on yourself:
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
when the road you’re trudging seems uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but do not quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victors cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
Its when things seem worst that you must not quit.
Sending you love and light and reminding you that everything you dream of having can be yours,
Nancy Mueller ~ Life Sensei
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Nancy Mueller ~ Life Sensei