I’m sorry I haven’t taken the time to write to you sooner. Honestly, I didn’t know exactly what to say because I’m still trying to figure out what is going on!
First, let me say that I’m sorry you had to endure so much at such a young age. At a time in your life when you should have felt care-free, you instead felt a tremendous burden.
That wasn’t right.
I know that you desperately wanted, and needed, love and attention. And for real, we all do!
You shouldn’t have had to struggle so hard to feel that.
Sometimes you decided that doing things absolutely perfectly was the way you got attention, and maybe just a smattering of love, but it didn’t fill you up.
You just learned that you had to excel at everything in order to even get noticed.
And that success was always fleeting because there was always the next goal, or project, that came along.
So you’d start all over again working so, so hard to get it right.
To get noticed.
To get a little acknowledgement and a few precious moments of feeling like you were worthy.
Sometimes you thought, well F*ck this all, and became a little Rebel. That defiant little self showed up when you were tired of fighting to be valued.
If no one cared, why should you?
But deep inside you felt a bit selfish, and that you were just a disappointment.
Again, not worthy.
I’m so very sorry that things weren’t different. But know that I have learned some lessons, and I’m working on making changes for us.
I want you to know that you are always loved and worthy now. We don’t need external validation, because honestly that’s just always going to be a game with someone else determining our worth.
But here’s the big news that I’ve learned for us!
It is OK to make taking care of ourselves a priority! WOW!
I know, I know… we thought that we always had to be excelling and preforming and being the “good” one.
Everyone and everything came before us, because that’s how we had always gotten acknowledgement!
We were the great employee that went above and beyond, the great mom doing alllll the things, the spouse that kept it all going (even though we often resented it).
Little One, I have figured out that isn’t how it works! Because I can’t be anyone’s rock if I’m crumbling.
So now I’m making us more of a priority. It doesn’t mean I’m shoving everything else aside, because well… reality! But I am making sure that I’m on the list.
Self-care doesn’t have to mean “me first” but it does mean “me too.”
I’m excited for the future and I want you to know that I value what you went through. You are amazing, just the way you are.
Love you and I mean it!
Sherry VanAntwerp, also known as The GenX Whisperer, is an intuitive mindset coach and speaker. With 20+ years in corporate, raising two children and triumphing over traumatic losses, she now helps GenX women uncover and discover their passion and purpose to create more fulfilling lives. Sherry’s perspective on the craziness of life as a GenX woman drives her mission to help women follow through with their own life transformation because you can’t be anyone’s rock if you’re crumbling!
There’s a remarkable woman I know. A little bit on a personal level, but on a heart and soul level—I see her and she is pretty fxcking cool. I’ve witnessed her strength, and grace, and ability to consider others even during challenging personal moments. She’s someone I look to to remind me that we are far deeper and greater than our circumstances and that we can embody so much at one time. We can be fearful and hopeful, we can be grieving while dreaming, or even centered on self while being of service to others.
I was incredibly honored, but a bit taken aback when this strong woman, Michelle Lewis, private-messaged me asking if I would write about how I show up to life with love, courage, respect, compassion and peace for MY SELF. So I got curious and started asking myself how I show up to life as a strong woman who embodies these high-vibe traits. ‘Cause man, does Michelle do it well!
Here’s what I know… I show up best to life through self-assessment. It’s only when I know ME in the moment that I can make the necessary adjustments. And sometimes those are bold changes towards setting clear boundaries and loving myself. I learned 25 years ago, from one of my master teachers, that checking in with myself first was solid good practice for how to address any challenges whether situational or relationship wise. We are co-creators. We’re all in this together and if I don’t check in with myself to see what my role in “this” is, then I am missing the mark. Let me share a bold decision I made a few years ago that propelled me to the life I live now.
I was 50 (for those of you who know western astrology this is during a Chiron return and mine is in my first house—childhood wounds and trauma). It was Thanksgiving day. I shared a story with someone about my unhealthy, one-sided, and confusing relationship with my father. The person I was sharing this with was shocked, as they had known me my whole life. “Tina, I had no idea,” they replied with concern. Then they shared one thought that changed everything.
“I wonder if he (my father) has Narcissistic Personality Disorder?” My whole life flashed before my eyes—like a video replay. And I heard myself say, “No wonder he doesn’t love me. It’s not my fault.” My eyes filled with tears, my heart pounded and I was devastated. AND I felt an indescribable sense of freedom.
I had spent my entire life wondering what I had to do to be seen and loved by this man. And now on the heels of this new aha! moment was a deep dive into understanding this disorder and what I was going to do about it. After weeks of research and consulting professionals, I had made one of the most challenging decisions of my life—to go NO CONTACT.
Well, it’s been 5 years and it’s like he didn’t even notice. My own father hasn’t reached out to me nor his grandchildren. He moved on to his next source. MY GAWD! what a relief to come to this realization, that my own birth father, someone who was supposed to protect me and love me without condition, dropped the ball because of who HE is……NOT who I am.
It was devastating because I knew no matter what I did things would never change. I doubted my decision for a while, grieved for a couple years, and to this day still think about him. Sometimes with anger, but mostly with gratitude for my awareness and the decision I made to protect myself and my family. Aside from not having to anxiously navigate that messed up relationship anymore, I needed to find purpose and meaning in it. Like Why? Why would I have picked him to be my father? Why would I have agreed to this?
What am I here to learn?
I was working with a Body and Emotion Code therapist, a couple years after my no contact decision, who sweetly yet firmly responded to my questions. She said, “You are here, as Tina, to learn unconditional love. In fact, you are getting your PhD in Unconditional Love. God wouldn’t put you in a family that knew how to love unconditionally. You wouldn’t learn that way, right?” Crap. Made total sense.
This was a very empowering time for me. I felt rebellious and free!!! — to discover who I am rather than who I thought I had to be in the eyes of others. It was in the stars, right? Thanks Chiron. The timing was divine and each day moving forward I gained a greater sense of compassion (not pity) for myself. I have created a life of peace. A life that is at my pace, in my time, with my boundaries, plenty of rest and quiet, and bringing in moments of ceremony—like lighting a candle, reciting mantras, breathing, journaling, nature walks, and fire burning. I love to connect with others through my passion of Chinese metaphysics and astrology. And, I pay forward the gifts I’ve been given by teaching, as well as donating energy to charitable organizations that assist children who feel alone, hungry and scared.
Check in with Yourself
I’m still checking in with myself. It’s a habit now, it’s just how I do things. Not everyone has that skill—my father sure didn’t. Once I realized my role in enabling this nonsense and toxicity to continue, it was an easy call. I did what I did because I love and respect myself. The consequences of that decision have blessed me. I’m aware of the lifetime of trauma that came from this relationship. I’m more aware of what my wounds are and what stress responses I have because of them. I am learning to take all that love, respect, and compassion I have offered others and direct it upon myself by creating a life that is intentional, meaningful and peaceful.
It’s never too late to love yourself. Check in. Ask questions. What are you co-creating? Is it serving your highest well being? How are you going to love yourself today?
Tina Falk BFA, Certified Feng Shui Practitioner, Chinese Astrologer & Metaphysician
I am Tina Falk, a Chinese Metaphysician and Astrologer. I’ve been practicing this way of life since 2005. My goal is to provide a professional and intuitive perspective to enhance your awareness and appreciation of Self and Space. My role is to bring you into a place of being in gratitude, creating conscious intentions, taking action and believing in your own power. This will propel you into a more meaningful and purposeful life.I am a classically trained feng shui practitioner who also incorporates Landform and BTB principles. And to me, the most exciting aspect is integration of your 4 Pillar Chinese astrology charts. My approach allows me to personalize your whole feng shui experience! I can make recommendations that are specific to you, and each member of your family or business team. Everyone deserves that personal attention.Overall, I am here to support — sometimes with a firm stance, but always with love and empathy — and to inspire a new way in which you see the world and your place in it.Feng shui has enriched my life by revealing everything from the insanely obvious to the subtlest of energy in our surroundings. We are sensitive beings and when we can connect and create a sacred relationship with ourselves, our space and others…damn, life gets exciting and motivating!Feng Shui has been a true gift to me . . . and my family. I intend for it to be the same for you.