I’m not college educated, I’m not skinny, and I am not a quiet person. Of these things, I am certain because I can factually back these up. On the other hand, there are things that I am CERTAIN of, for instance, I am smart, I am determined, and one of my favorite things about me is that I am creative.Lately, I have been pondering on who I am exactly. I’ve spent so much time being told who I was. Being defined by all the untrue, nasty, and hurtful words and phrases used to define me. “Ungrateful Bitch”, “Selfish”, “Disrespectful”, “Lazy”. These things were repeated so often to me in my upbringing that I began to subscribe to them. I believed them. They became synonymous with me. Whenever I heard those words being spoken in my home I knew that they were in reference to me
About a month ago a co-worker of mine held a workshop for some young people that we work with around beliefs. While going through the activity I realized a lot of the things that I thought about myself were not because I thought them about myself. I was really in shock, it felt like my world was rocked a bit. So at that moment, I began to ask myself what I really thought about me. I went home and journaled, I sat with myself and asked some really hard questions. Doing the work of self-discovery and healing is never easy and you often come to a point where you begin to resist. Other people’s thoughts of you have become so ingrained into it feels like you are going against all that has become natural when in reality you are shedding all of these old ideas about you.
So after sitting with those feelings for about a week, I came up with an anti-list and it looks a little something like this:
I am not ungrateful….. but I do know my worth
I am not selfish…. but self is my first concern
I am not disrespectful…. but I know my opinion matters
I am not lazy….. I move when I am comfortable and confident
And I continue to write affirmations this way. As I get older it becomes more and more important for me to define myself. I honestly have dreams and a purpose I am actively trying to live out, and living in those things requires for you to know yourself. As auntie Audre Lorde says:
If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive
I refuse to be eaten, I am the only one that can define me. For those of you who may be struggling with the same, I say this to you.
No matter what anyone says, be the best version of you that makes you happiest, and fullest.