Cullinan?s Eddie goes from trauma to victory Print E-mail
News - Ons Mense
Wednesday, 18 March 2009 07:48
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Meet a man who escaped the cycle of violence, abuse and humiliation; someone who went from childhood trauma to become an adult motivational consultant; someone who not only lived to tell the tale, but made it his mission to help others.

Edgar Smith, who lives just outside Cullinan, is the author of ‘The Guarantee’, a book with the subtitle ‘From rags to riches, from trauma to victory’.

Eddie, one of five brothers, carried the responsibility as the family’s caretaker; he missed out on childhood play and due to overwhelming stress and anxiety, developed a spastic colon at a young age.

Author Edgar Smit

“My father consumed more alcohol than he could pay for, which meant there was nothing left to buy groceries or pay for amenities and other household needs. Bread and butter were luxury items. Secondhand clothing and shoes were not always available. Social embarrassment was a daily affair; and shame and rejection became an accepted fact of life,” writes Eddie. He believed that his battle to survive prevented him from developing his abilities. Today he says that this belief was just an excuse because of his fear of failure. His biggest obstacle was defeating an entrenched belief that he was not good enough to make a success of anything.

“I found it almost impossible to convince myself that I was worth the tremendous effort it required to stand up and take back my life.” Study Eddie completed high school but had to abandon his dream of going to university. There simply was no money. He started working while studying part-time, completed his studies and became a human resources practitioner.

At that stage Eddie realised that if he was going to survive as a human being, he had to find a way to rid himself of the shackles of his past. Easier said than done. He freely admitted that his struggle to reclaim his identity was one of the most difficult things he ever had to do. Still, it is his intimate knowledge of the battle that made him the ideal person to help others to come to terms with their inner conflict. And Eddie’s job put him right on the spot – he had to help people deal with their demons.

?The Guarantee?

Character traits that interested him were those of people who suffered from a poor self-image and who were overly aggressive and obsessive. Of course Eddie recognised these character traits as the same defence mechanisms he also developed to compensate for his childhood circumstances.

Eddie said that most motivational theories were primarily aimed at people with healthy self-images, as a sort of added boost in their personal development. He discovered that most of these theories were nothing more than emotion-stirring processes geared to rouse a susceptible audience into a state of short-lived, frenzied mass-enthusiasm. They fail to sustain an ongoing belief system that one can use as a platform from which to grow your potential.

This is what inspired Eddie to put pen to paper to write ‘The Guarantee’. It is a spiritual book, although it is non-sectarian and non-denominational. It deals with topics that would be familiar to readers of the genre, such as the law of attraction and the abundance principle.

Eddie, however, puts another spin on it. He explains abundance, for example, from the point of view of a child who grew up in abject poverty. “We cling to what we have because we’re scared that there isn’t enough to go around.” What does it matter that there is abundance all around us if we don’t know how to tap into the source of abundance?

The natural rhythm of receiving and giving is set in motion from our first breath. Some people are subjected to circumstances that are damaging and never get to understand the give-and-take principle. Instead, they become overly controlling and self-absorbed to protect themselves from further pain.

Eddie said that he didn’t understand the principle of giving because he couldn’t see that he had anything to give. He believed that the world owed him because of all the hardships he had suffered during childhood. “I have learnt my lesson not to grab everything for myself,” he said.

The ideas in Eddie’s book are not new. As a matter of fact, you’ll find them in most eastern and western spiritual traditions. It is the way in which Eddie approaches them that makes his book more than a cliché rags-to-riches tail.

‘The Guarantee’ is published by FutureShock Publishers, ISBN 978-0-620-40826-4.


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