06/23/2015 10:09 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Lesson My Own Racism Taught Me About Reaching My Full Potential. Words of a Charleston, SC Native.

In light of the recent tragedy in my hometown of Charleston, SC, to honor the lives lost and to inspire change starting with each and every one of us as individuals, I felt moved to write this post...

I used to hold a secret resentment towards the culture of my hometown, Charleston, SC. I was embarrassed to even admit I was raised there.

Why? Racism

Growing up in Charleston where the first shots of the Civil War took place, there is no way around the fact that racism was subconsciously and consciously ingrained in me.

I know because I have taken part in it. It's in the "harmless" jokes, comments and ideas that are said behind closed doors and sometimes out in the open. And every time I cringed on the inside. I knew I wasn't being true to myself.

It is easy to sweep what you don't want to talk about under the rug and try to forget it is there.

That has always bothered me. Once again by avoiding what I didn't want to see I knew I was being untrue to myself. Deep down I knew there couldn't be real progress without revealing the truth so I could see what needed to change.

It wasn't until I was able to look at what I didn't want to see and admit racism was subconsciously and consciously ingrained in me that I was able to make change. It was then I began to release the anger towards my culture and the fear towards other cultures.

It wasn't until I was able to deal with the internal and external conflict that truth so often brings to the surface, that I was able to stop sweeping things under the rug.

It was then the divide I felt between the culture of Charleston that did give me so many great things and the culture of others I really knew very little about on an intimate level began to disappear.

There are so many things ingrained in us by our families, cultures and societies that don't really belong to us. They don't match how we feel deep down in our soul. But often we are too scared to speak up or change. We want to but we don't know how.

The truth of my soul is that it has a warrior spirit. Something about the Civil Rights movement always inspired and stirred my soul to take action. I am a warrior for the equality of all.

Not because I wanted to overthrow anyone, but because I want to walk side by side with everyone. People are all the same. We have the same wants, desired and needs.

I believe when there is equality, there is peace. The lack of peace comes from the need for power and control. The need for power and control comes from the fear that there is not enough of something. There is more than enough.

Even though I have felt the stirring in my soul, for years I never spoke up or took action. I had truths I wanted and needed to say, but didn't because I didn't want to look at them.

Why? Because of Fear.

I was afraid if I spoke and acted on my truth I would lose the love from the people that meant the most to me, especially from the men in my life.

Why? Because I never felt loved.

Because I felt my fathers never really loved me. I felt abandoned and alone, like I never really had a father of my own. I felt no man would ever want to claim me as his own.

I was an only child of parents who were divorced and both remarried by the time I was three. My biological father created a new family and my mom married a man who had a family of his own from a previous marriage.

I was an only child among many siblings wondering where I fit in and felt I was without a father who I could identify as belonging to me.

Even though, both of my fathers rarely express it, I often feel their heartache and pain ran just as deep as mine.

My parents were't equipped with the knowledge and skills to deal with divorce and blended families. They only knew what they were taught about parenting from their parents. And neither of them had been through this experience before.

In all honesty, these men, my fathers, were both doing the best they knew how in the situation.

At the same time, I learned to change my true nature to make sure I got the type of love I needed so badly from them but didn't know how to ask for.

The way I got my father's love was to align with their wants, needs and desires and to become more like them, but that wasn't really me at the core.

The fear of losing my father's love ran so deep, I was afraid to live out my purpose. The fear kept me chasing after love with men so I could avoid the truth of who I was deep down; a warrior for equality.

I avoided my purpose and chased the love and approval of men in various ways:

I became a star athlete just like both of my fathers;

I hid my true feelings about race relations, homosexuality and religion because they didn't always align with the beliefs of my fathers;

I chased the dream of making a lot of money as an entrepreneur because my step-father had been an entrepreneur and financially successful;

I got into countless unhealthy, emotionally abusive relationships because I didn't feel worthy of better relationships simply because I didn't feel worthy of being true to myself.

It wasn't until the pain in my life got so bad, that I was willing to take a deeper look at myself and face the fear head on. It was then I was able to start stepping into the person I was to become and to make the change the wanted to see in my relationships with men and the world.

And when I did step into my true self, who was there to support me? My fathers.

At one point this anger permeated my entire being because there were so many parts of me that were hiding my truth and keeping me from my full potential in life. It also permeated my relationships with men because I felt they were stopping me from who I was meant to become.

In reality, it was just the fear that was stopping me and nothing else.

Whether you are hiding your truth because of wounds with your father, mother or for some other reason, there is a way to release the fear and have the love and life you have always imagined.

If you would like to find out how you can overcome your fear, rebuild your self-worth and reach your full potential so you too can have the love and life you truly desire, I invite you to sign up for my free video e-course:

5 Hidden Blocks That Sabotage Your Full Potential