- Family and Parenting
Miryam Hart is a successful counselor, writer and speaker in the area of overcoming low self confidence and poor self image. Her career began in the field of grief counseling, but a few years ago she watched a video about a woman who had been given up for adoption at birth; the story was so awesome and inspiring that it caused Miryam to change not only the course of her career, but the path of her life as well.
It was June of 2012; Miryam had just arrived home from her weekly grief counseling session. She no sooner walked through her front door when her phone rang; it was her daughter Lynn calling. Miryam answered, “Hi honey, I’m just getting home from work; I was going to call and see how you are feeling.” Lynn answered, “I’m feeling much better mom, I’m calling because I watched a video online today that I want you to see; it is an amazing story of a woman who was given up for adoption at birth, and that’s all I’m going to tell you. I emailed you the link; please call me after you look at it.” Miryam replied, “Ok honey, I’ll look at it in just a few minutes. I’ll call you back in a bit, love you, goodbye.”
Miryam was curious and anxious to see the video that her daughter was so taken by. She hurriedly fixed a sandwich and sat at her computer. She went to the email where Lynn had sent the link, Miryam sat back in her chair, having no idea that what she was about to watch was going change her life.
The video was a 20/20 interview with a woman who had been given up for adoption at birth. It was an amazing story of the accomplishments she had made due to the positive influence of her adoptive parents. Miryam was in awe of the woman’s story and couldn’t believe what she had overcome; the woman had been born with no legs, but her adoptive parent’s never allowed her to limit herself. The word “Can’t” was not even allowed to be a part of her vocabulary.
Miryam sat and cried before she called Lynn back. She was so touched by the love and devotion of the adoptive parents; they made all the difference in that girl’s life. When she called Lynn, it was obvious that Miryam was emotional from watching the video. Lynn asked, “What did you think of the video mom?” Miryam answered, “Thank God for the adoptive parents who raised that precious child. She could have been raised as a cripple and never achieved anything close to what she has done.” Miryam began to cry again. Lynn asked, “What’s wrong mom?” Miryam answered, “Do you know how many children are raised by parents who do nothing but limit them; teach them that they are incapable to doing anything? And I’m not just talking about children with disabilities.”
“My parents raised four children who all thought their middle name must have been moron we were called that name so much. And as a result of our negative upbringing, we all grew up with low self esteem, poor self image and a lack of self confidence. I went into the field of grief counseling because I was so sad all the time and I wanted to help other people who are hurting. I’m thankful for the positive upbringing this beautiful woman received, but I feel so cheated by the negative upbringing my brothers and I had to endure.”
Lynn responded, “Mom, maybe there’s a way to undo some of the damage caused by your parents. I know there is no going back and changing what has happened, but perhaps you could begin to heal through helping others overcome low self esteem issues, due to the same challenges you faced while growing up.”
Miryam replied tearfully, “Darling, I don’t know if I have the fighting spirit in me enough to be able to confront my past; I’ve spent a lot of years trying to suppress it.” Lynn paused for a moment, trying to choose her words carefully; then she said, “Mama, I wanted you to see the video in big part because you raised us in the same positive way that the adoptive parents in the video raised the little girl. You always told us that we could do anything that we put our mind to, and to never look at an obstacle as being unachievable. I’m so very thankful for how you raised us and now we want to support you in overcoming the obstacles from your past.”
About that time there was a knock at the door, Miryam asked Lynn to hold on for a moment. When Miryam answered the door it was her two children, Lynn and her son Steven standing there on the porch smiling. Miryam gave both a big hug and asked what they were up to.
Steven went on to tell his mom that he and Lynn have been talking a lot about the field their mother has pursued. Though she has been able to help many people through grief counseling, they both feel that if she focused more on helping people with low self esteem issues that she would be able to help people on a deeper level, and hopefully help herself in the process.
Steven and Lynn asked their mother to write a book about her negative upbringing and the effect it has had on her life. Miryam was hesitant at first; she said that she wasn’t sure that she had what it took to be a writer. Steven asked his mom “Did the girl in the video let the fact that she has no legs stop her from becoming a champion gymnast? “ Miryam shook her head as she replied, “No son, it didn’t” Miryam agreed to write a book; she also began to address low self esteem issues in all of her counseling sessions, in both private and group settings. Miryam noticed a marked difference in her patients overall mental and emotional improvement.
After Miryam’s book was released it became a best seller and she began accepting speaking engagements all over the country. Everything happened like a whirlwind.
The past few years have been an amazing journey in Miryam’s career and in her life. She has begun to overcome so many obstacles that were too big for her to face for most of her life. It was the love and devotion of two children and a beautiful video of positive parenting and the tenacity to overcome any obstacle, that have helped turn a negative past into a positive future.