By Carlana Charles
Who do people say you are?
How do they define you? Who do you know you are? How do you define yourself?
It’s amazing how much we absorb and embrace the labels people put on us. Ugly, stupid, worthless, failure and a slew of words all meant to diminish and rob us of our truth we take upon ourselves, never bothering to question or refute them.
The only authority someone has to define you is the authority you give them by accepting and embracing their labels. You may not be bold or strong enough to say No! I reject what you’re saying, but internally you can always reject it.
During my time married to an abuser, I was not only subjected to physical abuse, but verbal abuse as well.
And although I never believed the things he said out of hate and spite, I realize it takes a very resolute person to ward off the negativity thrown at them, because when our resolve weakens, we open doors for the negativity to seep in.
My remedy for fending off his lies was the writing down of my truth.
I wrote the things I knew to be true of myself, and I did a graphic illustration of it. I needed to see it, to repeat it, to get it to sink in, deep in. I made it attractive so that I could use it as a screensaver or desktop, and I also printed out and hung it on the wall near my computer. It was my way of fighting back and reaffirming my truth.
Each time I sat down at my computer, it would stare me in the face. Each time I walked past my workspace on my way to the kitchen or bathroom, it was there. I saw it and he saw it too. And interestingly enough, after a while of passing it by, I felt my silent war winning back, in that he was no longer attacking me verbally.
It was as if he too was embracing my truth.
Funnily though, when I took it down and changed to a calendar screensaver, he gradually started with his verbal assaults. But at that time it did not matter. I knew my truth. Those words I stared at for months were forever etched in my brain and the consciousness I carried about myself.
I embraced my truth, stood in it, and found solace in it.
What is your truth? What are the things about you that you know to be true? Are there any, or do you embrace the labels thrown on you by others? Good or bad, you need to define yourself. Grab a pen and a bit of paper, and write the things of yourself you know to be true.
As you write, be kind to yourself.
Choose words of love, choose words that will help you bloom. The world already rags on you, you can afford to be kind and loving to yourself. Go on, keep writing. Finished? Write more again. Don’t hold back. Now put it somewhere where you can see it daily. Post it on your bathroom door or your fridge. Make a screensaver out if it if you can.
I want you to carry these words with you.
Carry your truth. Carry it on a slip of paper in your purse, carry it in your journal. Carry it until you no longer need the paper because they are forever etched in your heart.
Carlana Charles is the Story Midwife at the Birthing Project, where she shows women how they can use words to heal, transform, enrich and birth wonder in their lives. She’s also an advocate for empowering women and the Visionary of FemmePowered, where she blogs and work with women to help them live their best possible lives as they pursue their passions and walk in their divine purpose. She lives in the Caribbean with her dog Ellie, and and enjoys coffee, wine, books, jazz and great conversation.
Editor: Dana Gornall