Reality Is - What's Your Reality?
How  many times have you heard someone say either of the following: “Sure, in your world.” or “Yeah, on your planet.” Most people get offended whenever they hear those words but, in some cases it’s true,  we do live in our own world or on our own planet. This is not always a bad thing. Coming to grips with what you view as real could be the  key to achieving happiness and satisfaction in your life.

I once saw an interview of Warren Buffet – he was asked something to the effect of – how did he come so successful? He gave credit to a number of things but the one thing that stood out to me was – he never listened to what others told him coud or could not be done.  He never let others doubts get in the way of his goals. He took chances others never dreamed of and was told he was making mistake after mistake but, he believed in himself and what he knew to be true. Needless to say he knew a thing or two that others didn’t and because of his belief in himself he is now one or the riches men in the world.

I am sure he was looked upon as being more than a  little crazy while taking what others believed to be huge risk but, what others saw as a crazy risk he saw as a oppurtunity for success.

Also being interviewed at the same time was the rapper Jay-Z (given name Sean Carter). His rise to the top had a much different beginning.  Jay-Z was a drug dealer, turned rapper, turned music mogul. He maybe one of the richest rappers in the history of the business. How did a kid from Marcy projects grow up to become part owner of the New Jersey Nets and many owner companys bearing his name? Well, failure was never a part of his reality. He credits having to struggle to make it day-to-day doing what he had to do so that he would never have to do it again. He took the struggles that were a real part his life and use them as motivation to become the man he is today. But for him becoming a successful rapper was not enough he wanted to be a force to be reckoned with and became a pioneer of sorts the first to do the very things people said could not be done.

For both of these men, what could not be done was a part of the reality they dreamed they would do. They ignored the doubts others had and used the struggles of their everyday lives as fuel – as ammo and kept moving forward never looking back.

When I say to people – What’s your reality? – they normally respond with what do you mean? Sometimes I have to do a little  explaining and give a demonstration of  how it can affect ones life  – putting a straggle hold on your hopes and dreams  – I usually get their attention and the idea does provoke questions. It is often eye opening, even life changing. The reaction to learning that your beliefs have been the main road block in your life can bring on a bout of depression. I can often see the darkness move in  before our conversation is half way through but, when I explain the upside to understanding your reality and how any and every mistake or wrong turn can be used to jump start them into a reality that is in line with the life they say they what to live, the sun starts to peek through and light smile begins to show.

The best part of introducing one to their reality is hearing them say “SO I’M NOT CRAZY FOR WANTING SOMETHING MORE, SOMETHING DIFFERENT?”  It is like a load has been lifted and they can finally breathe. They begin to question everything and everyone. They begin to see things a little clearer and can relate to those they have never been able to understand.  For some of them - for the first time in a very long time - they begin to plot out the future they were told is not real or just a dream. They begin to trust themselves and take risk they were too afraid to take before being able to tie their beliefs to their actions or lack there of. Those who express disbelieve or doubt become the fuel needed to excel and succeed. Life becomes more than worth living it also becomes worth celebrating.

Both Mr. Buffet and Mr. Carter learned this well before I and are living proof that if it is a part of your reality than you can live it.

I am Cynthia Williams and
My Reality is keeps challenging me.

I had many childhood fears, a lot of them fueled by my love of scary movies (side note: my dad would take me to the matinée on Saturdays back when you could get two movies for the price of one and one of those would always be a scary movie). But  most of my fears had to do with my parents and my younger brother. I don’t know when it began but I would have awful nightmares about losing them and being all alone. It has been with me ever since I can remember. Sure enough the worst thing that could happen did happen. I lost my father by 15 and my mother less than 20 years later. There was nothing I could do and all that worrying didn’t mean a thing - it didn’t save my parents.

I know what you are thinking – she believes she could have done something to prevent their deaths — and the answer is:  Yes, I did.

The fear would move depending on where I was in my life. Pretty soon I was afraid I would lose my husband and my kids, my best friend and even my bosses whom I love like parent.

Somewhere long ago, as a very young child I learned that I was responsible for what happens to the people I love. It is a very heavy load for a child but, at that point in my life that was my reality. It remained my reality for many years – effecting everything I did – it even fed my fear of flying. I never wanted to fly and never with my husband. That’s how I made sure that my daughters would not end up as orphans.

It wasn’t until my mom passed away that I was able to see how long I believed that my actions could keep my love ones alive. Talk about helpless, I watched her take her last breath and there was nothing I could do. I felt more helpless at 30 than I did at 13.

But believe it or not it was a blessing in disguise – a real break through for me. The worst thing that could happen did and guess what I made it through all of  it. It made me take a good long look at myself and why I believed it was my job to save everyone, my job alone. I have always felt this way and I was able to figure out at least part of the reason why. After a good long look I realized:


 I can remember her saying clear as day, I had to take care of my brother – If someone grabs him you go with him. If he get in a fight you fight for  him. I can even remember getting a beating for crossing an empty lot (a BIG no no) and leaving my brother so that I could make it to the bathroom. I was young to young to be his protector but I tried my best. All through my childhood – all through my teens and well into my married, with two kids, adult life. I was the good one and I had to please my mom so that she would love me as much as she loved my brother. That was my reality. DEEP! I know and a much longer story than I can write tonight. But at some point this belief morphed into a life filled with panic attacks, sleepless night and constant worry over family and friends. 

What matters now is where I am today. Oh, I still worry (once an addict right) but now I that I know why I worry and where it comes from – I am able to let go little quicker each time. The fear quickly turns to laughter and I quickly turn the page. Because if the worst thing that can happen does – I already know I will make it through.

I am Cynthia Williams and That is my Reality.