When I wrote this piece a few months back, I started somewhere in the middle and continued to almost the end. Then I started asking myself “Where did this all come from?” And so I worked my way backwards to what is now the beginning. Then came the end!
Why am I sharing this? Because as I mentioned in a previous post: ‘Remember the Hoodoo Gurus’ … it’s especially for those who relate, but aren’t in a place to share. Those who are maybe not as far on the journey, but need to know they’re not alone in their issue. And then maybe there is also an aspect of my own healing that will come, as a result of allowing myself to be vulnerable enough to share the deepest insecurities of my heart. Scary as that is . . .
While it’s not something I’ve consciously contemplated every minute of every day of my life, I am aware of a negative self-perception that has been evident in my thoughts, in my speech (or lack thereof, when I’m too scared to speak), and in my actions.
Hurtful words from the age of 6 that stuck like glue (obviously never fully dealt with, to be confronting them now at 48), and how that negativity has then grown to the extent of influencing and impacting my decisions and handling of situations throughout my life. It is an example of how negative thoughts are like an undercurrent, hidden beneath the surface, dangerous, and able to pull us under without notice.
That’s not to say that I haven’t had good, encouraging, positive people in my world, because I definitely have, and still do. But as the analogy goes, regardless of who builds the structure, the structure itself is only as solid as the foundation on which it is built.
So read this not as a ‘woe is me’ piece, or a stab at anyone, because it’s not either. But rather it is an expressive piece, a spoken word (a ‘read word’ in this case) about my perception of my being (the me that I be), and my doing (the me that I do), resulting in ‘the me that I see’ today. That which has been my self-perception, and now I’m on a journey of self-discovery, as I learn to shake off negative thoughts, confront my fears, accept myself mistakes and all, and their resulting consequences. I’m learning to challenge my thinking, so that I can move forward to finding a bigger, better, brighter life path with a healthy self-perception.
We’ve all had a childhood …
We’ve all got insecurities…
A mixing pot of experiences.
Forming our personalities.
Low self esteem.
Too quiet and shy.
Always on the outside.
Feeling passed by.
and teenage peers.
Words that haunt,
and all their sneers.
So despite what you see, your version of me, is not the me that I see!
I hate seeing myself in photos,
or that mirrored window reflection.
Yet I miss out on capturing memories,
all because of my own rejection.
For the me that I see is unattractive, with a big nose,
a crooked smile, and hooded eyes.
And the me that I be is not smart, somewhat naive, gullible to pranks, socially awkward, with a tremor to hide.
And as I stand here declaring my faults,
I’m secretly wondering if you would agree?
That’s all that there is to be seen in me!
But the me that I do … she follows her dream,
she steps out in faith, knowing her purpose.
This is the me I was made to be.
In spite of the me that I see, and the me that I be,
it’s the me that I do,
that gives me acceptance and value in humanity.
And yet I still wrestle with the me that I do,
Because it’s not fully accepted by you.
I didn’t choose marriage, a home and a kid.
I saved all I could, sold all I had, to do all that I did.
So against all the objections, and blockages by you,
I stood by my convictions, and followed them through.
Cause I’m answerable to God, when I stand at the gate.
How would it be … if I said “No!” to His date.
With a firm hold on my heart, Africa wouldn’t let go,
And with each step of faith, You confirmed I should go.
So I followed the dream, the purpose, and the call.
Yet nothing worked out as I thought. None of it at all!
So despite what you see, your version of me, is SOOO NOT the me that I see.
But through all of this I’ve held to some facts:
I’m integral, of good character, reliable and true.
“Inside beauty conquers the outside ugly of you!”
But then the me that I ‘do’ was shattered.
A scar on my belly, a hope that was scattered.
No longer a dream, just a faith that is battered.
I prayed and I believed,
but I never received!
So they took it away!
I felt lost like a stray!
A journey of distorted thinking and bad choices.
Headed for some damning eternal dark voices.
I’m deep in the pit without an escape!
How will I ever get back to my faith?
Then came those words:
“That’s not what a good friend would do.”
And so the words that I heard,
With the outside ugly I knew,
Truth that cuts like a sword.
My actions had deleted all beauty through!
Without the me that I do,
Or the inside beauty I knew.
Maybe now you can see?
Just how ugly I be!
But God, as I’m looking to see the me that You see!
Discarding the negative I see in me.
Please help me to find who You made me to be.
You told me today:
“There’s to be NO MORE apologies.
Nor any such feelings of your inadequacies.
Cos what you did, where you been, and how you see,
Are not who you are, what you be, or what I see!
So STOP with the apologies.
You’re on a journey of discoveries.
It’s a journey with Me!
You’ll see who I made you to be!”
God we’ve worked hard to make a new start.
And we’re beginning to see growth from my pains.
Changes that come with a renovating heart.
New thinking for my mind like fresh blood in my veins.
So I challenge you: Push through!
To believe for the future
For better times, a better you!
Don’t let the darkness win.
Because we’re all just waiting to see
When you stand up and sing . . .
When you boldly declare: “This is me!”
While there is the need to accept ourselves for who we are in the now, we are always growing, so there is also the need to challenge ourselves to believe in and ‘see’ the better version of ourselves in the future. That’s why I’m loving the hit song ‘This is me’ from ‘The Greatest Showman’ as the words are about standing up in our individuality, making no apologies for who we are, and shaking off all our feelings of inadequacy.
While out having lunch with a friend recently, I came across a children’s book in a shop window titled “Can you see what I see?” by Walter Wick. In the book description it says “Walter . . . challenges our minds . . . to discover objects in a mirror image that doesn’t quite reflect what’s really there.”
So to put a twist on Walter’s story . . . are there any ‘objects’ that you are ‘seeing’ about yourself, that don’t quite reflect what’s really there? How’s your self-perception? If it needs a tweak . . . then go on the journey of self-discovery, confronting any fears, challenging your thinking, accepting who you are mistakes and all, to then boldly declare with full acceptance of yourself: “This is me!”