Agony fills me when I look back on some of the people in my past. Adults who shamed, girls who whispered just loud enough for me to hear, boys who snickered, and many other memories still haunt me. Mostly I blame myself for the unkind comments and thoughtless abandonment. After all, people only treated me how I deserved, right? The shy, naive, awkward girl had it coming to her because she had no idea how to survive in the real world.
However, traces of anger and bitterness reside deep inside of me, nearly invisible but poisoning everything they touch. The more that I ignore these feelings, the stronger they become. Guilt then begins to set in which only adds to this toxicity.
For years, I stuffed down these emotions. Finally my therapy has allowed me to open up a bit about them and start to voice them aloud. The seemingly simple practice of announcing my hurt to others makes me feel like shackles are removed from my wrists. However, allowing the words to leave my mouth or even process in my brain throws me into the front lines of a war. When people say call themselves recovery warriors, they are not kidding!
Yet, facing my anger from past hurt has also opened my eyes to a humbling but powerful fact: No one has the power to break me.
Walking down the sidewalk today toward school, dozens of thoughts flitted in and out of my head. Suddenly the image of a boy who recently left me very confused and hurt appeared. My chest tightened as usual while I looked up at the sky to keep a tear from rolling down my cheek.
“He really left me shattered,” I silently said to myself. Suddenly, I realized how many of my thoughts centered around this idea. He had lifted me up and dropped me. Those girls had shattered any confidence that I grasped. That teacher demolished my ability to do art. They broke me, they finished me, they killed that part of me.
However, no one can really break you. Yes, people can hurt us greatly which is wrong of them. Yet, the power that we give them over our emotions and self-worth is important. As Eleanor Roosevelt stated, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Plus, as I blogged about before, I am not broken. Taking responsibility for my own emotions, thoughts, and actions is scary. However, I refuse to live letting others shatter me. Starting today, my goal is to begin taking back the power of my self-worth.