#LoveMe Challenge Day 28: What Have You Learned These 28 Days
To answer the last part of the challenge, I did some emotional mathematics. I re-read all of my #LoveMe posts and picked one or two sentences that were particularly meaningful. I asked myself, “Over the last 28 days, what was I trying to tell myself?” I read and re-read and re-read and re-read this list to add up the sentiments into one cohesive statement. It took a few days in Starbucks (gotta love free refills!) to finally crack my Da Marcus Code, but I did it.
Below are the excerpts that guided me on my way to understanding what I have learned:
- “I think this 28-day Love Me Challenge will be helpful in introducing myself to myself.”
- “Keep pressing on. Just know that a day will eventually come when you won’t need to hold in your tears and/or fight so hard. Holy shit, you will be pretty banged up and have immeasurable physical, emotional and spiritual damage, but the battle will end.”
- “Don’t be afraid of who you are. Be proud of who you will become.”
- “Perhaps you have evolved from simply surviving to actually living.”
- “I hope that through more work in my therapy, that the spirit of 8 year-old Marcus can come through again. I want to smile like this again. And I will stick my tongue out if I want to!”
- “I honestly don’t like to think of my illness as a flaw.”
- “I believe that I had the strength, courage and the motivation to do well. It is just this damn depression that got in the way.”
- “Allowing the truth to play a role in our lives is terrifying. We are set up for rejection. But we are also on the path for authentic living.”
- “be kind, be helpful, work hard, be considerate of other people, help those who can’t help themselves, and don’t be an asshole.”
- “for one moment, I was strong enough, fast enough and clever enough to beat the hell inside of me.”
- “These memories remind me that I can do amazing things. They remind me that I can be physically and mentally stronger than I sometimes believe. They remind me that I don’t need to accept being a last place. When my inner voices start to tell me that I am a loser, I can correct them. I might not be doing well right now, and there may be little current evidence to the contrary, but I am not a loser.”
Of all of these, I think the most powerful statement, that I will consider the key from the challenge is simply:
- “Don’t be afraid of who you are. Be proud of who you will become.” (Day 5)
I have spent much of my life in fear and being ashamed of who I am. So much of what I have done has been to measure up to a standard that I do not agree with. The times that I have had a moment of happiness were those when I shook free of the mental shackles and dared to be myself. There were often negative consequences for such freedom… but, for that brief moment, I was indeed free. Even when I failed, I had the solace of knowing that I tried and failed on my own terms. This is living.
What I have learned is that these mental shackles are no longer strong enough to hold me. I am older and stronger now. With the skills I am learning in my therapy, I can break free. I can be free to be myself.
*Drops mic. Walks away*