Marshall Mathers grew up in the rough neighborhood of 8 Mile in Detroit, Michigan. He went through abuse, poverty, bullying, and he had to battle himself through every hardship he faced. He raised his daughter in a family of physical abuse and drugs, letting her down multiple times. He got to the point where he couldn’t handle it anymore; his life decisions were too gruesome for his daughter to be raised by.
So he made a decision.
After years of saying he’s going to change, that everything is going to get better, and nothing happening, he sucked up his fears and worries and made that change. Although his decision left his daughter to grow with him always being gone, he cleaned himself up, he voiced his emotions, and he provided. He stopped telling himself that I will “try harder” next time, he stopped telling his daughter that “this is the last time”, and he promised his now ex-wife, Kim, to never lay a hand on her again. He made this change because he knew it needed to happen.
We’ve all been stuck in a rut, a rut where we are going in circles, trying to do what needs to be done, and we start giving up. We lose our confidence and aspirations, and we leave our ambitions behind, because no matter how hard we try, what we want is not being handed to us on a silver platter. We got so caught up in believing that if we try hard enough, we will achieve our wildest dreams, that we forgot that everything comes with accomplishment. We need to stop giving those participation rewards to our children, and start teaching them perspective. If you are trying and no matter how many times you try, you’re not succeeding, look from a new perspective. Maybe you’re not looking close enough, you’re not seeing the bigger picture.
As a society, we are raising our children to believe that as long as we try hard enough, it’s okay. We are leaving our children into a loop of trying, and trying, and never succeeding. We stopped encouraging our kids to better themselves and told them “at least you tried”, and handed them a participation reward. We told our children that accomplishing their wants in life does not have to happen, because they tried. When your son or daughter is young, it is acceptable to encourage them to try, and reward them, even if they don’t succeed. Why? Because trying helps our children grow, it helps progress their minds and give them courage to succeed in life, to accomplish their dreams. But, we need to find a boundry, set a line. Eventually, just trying is not enough. You can’t purchase your two story dream home on the ocean shoreline, with bay windows exposing the beautiful sunset over the ocean by just trying and not succeeding. You need to teach your child to push forward and accomplish their dreams.
In a lot of counseling/support groups, a counselor will have the group stand up and link arms, a hoola-hoop linked to someone’s arm. The counselor will ask them to get the hoola-hoop around the circle without de-linking their arms, and try as we might, we cannot complete the task. We couldn’t complete the task, because we were overanalyzing the situation, we were trying too hard, so we could not figure out the simplest of tasks: walk in a circle to achieve our goal. We didn’t think of this because we spend more time overanalyzing and trying, and less time looking from a different perspective.
There are multiple areas where people try, not realizing that trying is not necessary, but the action of doing is. Overcoming traumatic experiences, and not playing victim is a perfect example.
I’ve always made myself fall victim to my experiences. I would blame being bipolar for my attitude, and I would blame everyone around me for my insecurities. There is always causes behind being insecure, but only you can make yourself feel that way. It’s your choice to do things and respond. Just like it’s your choice to “try” instead of do.
A lot of people, fall victim to their experiences. They would try and try to overcome their experiences, but it would always result in them not being able to because they fell into the “victim track”. The victim track is what I call people who track themselves on a lifestyle of victimization and the inevitable failure of sorts. When you walk the victim track, you are immediately discrediting your strength and making it known that you are weak and vulnerable. You have it in your head that if you try hard enough, you’ll get better, but it has to be easy, and you continue to lower your selfesteem due to the fact that you no longer have confidence because you are a victim. I have been in that place, and it took forever for me to realize that there comes a point where you need to stop trying, and actually do it. Walk through that pile of mud rather than go around, climb that rope, and do it. People use “I’m trying”, or “I tried” as an excuse because they are scared of challenges. Instead of making excuses and not accomplishing anything, get up, say “I can do this”, and DO IT.
An old friend of mine is in a relationship with sobering drug-addict. He’s reached the point of withdrawl, and with the current family situation, he is considering going back to his old ways. Naturally, when you want to vent, you go to your friends, so she came to me, and this is what I had to say:
“That's rough, but we've all been through it. Definitely not to that degree, but you learn to cope. You learn self-control. You take care of YOU. He needs to not focus on drugs, and find healthy ways to take care of his emotions. He needs to stop living in this fantasy that he cannot survive without drugs, and actually live. It's hard on him because he keeps himself surrounded by it and he keeps it on his mind. He needs to strengthen up and be a man. And I know it's not easy, but continuously telling himself that he's going to go back to drugs is NOT helping. He needs to find an outlet. He can't change the people around him, but he can change who he surrounds himself with. He can't control his friend's actions, but he can control his decisions of friends. He cannot choose his mother, but he can choose to better himself. He's 18 years old. He is more than capable of getting an actual job and moving out and taking care of himself. Why stress over things you cannot control? Hunter is a smart guy. He needs to stop downplaying himself. If he wants to change, quit trying and saying he will, and ACTUALLY DO IT. He is more than capable of making a life for himself. He is intelligent and instead of playing stupid and weak, he needs to try. The only person that makes you a victim is yourself.”
It’s a very critical and harsh response, but it’s reality and it’s not sugar-coated. My mom has always raised me to believe mind over matter, and I used to find “exeptions” for that saying, such as drug users. “They have a chemical imbalance due to drug use, they can’t help it”. I was WRONG. It takes a weak mind to believe that a little pill, or a line of powder is stronger than your mind. You have the power to say no, and you are more than capable of using that power.
When you try, you’re only setting a boundary for yourself. You can get something wrong, but still have done it. Trying is not the same. When you try, you are straining to do something. Just keeping doing what you’re doing until you do it right, but you can’t try until you get it right. Trying is not full effort, doing is. Trying is saying that if you can’t understand this, you just won’t do it.
Marshall Mathers turned his life around; he cleaned his act up and started doing what needed to for his daughter. Instead of expressing his pain through violence, he started writing. He made music that expresses who he is, what he’s been through. He inspires people to keep their chin up and to push for more. He stopped trying to make himself better, and did what he needed to do. Marshall “Slim Shady” / “Eminem” Mathers is one of the most successful rap artists there is. He encouraged so many people through his words without us even taking notice. Through all of his faults, and all of his struggles, he did what needed to be done, and is the perfect evidence that if he can do it, we can do it.
I’m not saying to never try, because trying is important, but don’t get caught in that cycle. If trying isn’t getting you where you need to be, reach out and do what you need. Don’t give up, don’t complain. Do it.