Product of our environment, a statement often heard when explaining life, behavior, circumstances, and the list goes on. Is product of our environment truly the answer, though? Are we not meant to overcome the environment with which we are given?
Oprah Winfrey is an amazing example of refusing to become a product of her environment. She was born into poverty, with a single mother to raise her, molested and pregnant at a young age. At 14 when she gave birth to her child, it died in infancy. This is just a brief synopsis of the sadness and hardship that affected her from the start of life. Despite these circumstances Oprah overcame and has become one of the most successful and influential people in the world.
At 11 years old my world was rocked and flipped completely upside down. At the beginning of the year my grandfather passed away, a month later my father. For the continuation of the year I lost seven close family and friends as well as, my dog. My life took a drastic turn and at such a young age, it was extremely hard to grasp. My family was no longer loving and happy; they were broken, sad, and full of hate. As years continued to pass, tragedy continued to follow, I became hard and callous. I was closed off and wanted nothing to do with the world, full of hate, pushing anyone I loved away.
In my young adult years I tried a yoga class for the first time. Something in me that day changed, I became infatuated with the practice and how it made me feel. I began practicing more and more, meeting with other yogis around the community and was welcomed with open arms. The positivity and love overflowing in the yoga world was unlike anything I had experienced in a very long time. I decided I wanted to share this with the rest of the world.
Regardless of what had occurred early in my life, I had no reason to let it dictate how I lived the rest of my years. Spreading happiness, giving back positivity in response to negativity, I was no longer a slave to the environment I grew up in. Each day I overcome, I continue to strive to do better, and show others who came from tragedy that it is no reason to close your heart.
Despite what may have happened to you early on in life, it does not define you. Are you allowing your past to dictate your future or hold you back from what you can become? Break free, you owe this to yourself, you are not your own greatest tragedy. Find something that inspires you and run with it. Show the rest of the world what it means to overcome and not become of product of your environment. Find something that inspires you and run with it.