Truth is hard to face. Especially truth about yourself. And then truth is hard to accept. It is easier to believe lies, believe negativity, believe that which the world deems true despite what we want so desperately to believe deep, deep down. Sometimes it is hard to come to the realization that past actions and circumstances do not determine the only truth in our life.
Influence? Yes. Control? Absolutely not.
We have a choice how we respond. We get to determine how to define ourselves.
Some truths and realities are hard to admit, harder to write down, and even harder to share. But the more we face truths together, the more we replace lies with truths, the stronger we become. Together.
There is something powerful about stating things as fact. Putting them out in the universe. Refusing to hide from them any longer.
There is something even more powerful when you take those things, and you follow them up with a truth that takes away any power the former may have held over you. I’ve discovered a simple formula for addressing things like this in my own life.
I have. I am not. I am.
Stating something I have done, stating that it does not defining me, and stating a truth about myself.
It’s simple. It’s powerful. And it’s terrifying.
Here’s how it works.
In the first line, I state something about myself that I have done. It is something that might haunt me, something I am not proud of, something that has happened to me. It is one of those things that though it may be true, it is not the only truth. Example: I have been victimized. While that may be true, it does not mean it is a constant truth, a defining truth, or the only truth. No one wants to be victimized. It is considered a negative, and something that is not thought of with fondness or pride.
In the second sentence, the power is taken away from the truth that has just been stated. Example: I am not a victim. Just because I have been victimized before does not mean that I will forever live as a victim. I refute the “I have” statement and I defuse it. I no longer let it be the only truth.
In the third sentence, I state the truth I will cling to. Example: I am a survivor. I take pride in that, I want that to be the defining statement, the defining truth. I don’t want to live with the title “victim,” I want to live with the title “survivor.”
When we put the three sentences together, this is what you get:
I have been victimized. I am not a victim. I am a survivor.
Do you see how powerful it can be? Putting a hard truth out in the open, then making it powerless, and then redefining your identity based on a positive, not a negative.
I have compiled a long list of these statements. As you read through them, it will become obvious that there are stories behind each statement. Sometimes we don’t need to explain the whole story in order to convey a point. Sometimes less really is more. Some of these are from a long time ago, and some of them are recent. They do not all relate to each other or connect to each other. I did this intentionally, in order to try to provide something that is relatable for everyone. They are, however, all very real and true things about myself. I’m trying to offer vulnerability in order to give you courage to reciprocate.
My hope is that something resonates with you. That you can use this to strip any lies in your life of their power.
Here we go.
I have. I am not. I am.
I have said yes when I’ve meant no, and said no when I’ve meant yes. I am not a liar. I am afraid of the truth.
I have said I am fine when I am everything but. I am not a deceiver. I am surviving.
I have given all of myself and received nothing. I am not desperate. I am always going to love.
I have seen pain in someone’s eyes and said and done nothing. I am not heartless. I am broken too.
I have suffered pain of the body, heart, mind, and soul. I am not broken. I am a fighter.
I have won fights and lost fights, of the body, heart, mind, and soul. I am not a quitter. I am searching.
I have been lost. I am not lost. I am on a journey.
I have had the most precious thing torn from me. I am not childless. I am a mother.
I have succumbed to despair. I am not despaired. I am joyful.
I have believed lies. I am not gullible. I am always going to believe the best in everyone.
I have had to ask for help. I am not helpless. I am strong.
I have made hard choices. I am not interested in regret. I am okay with who I am.
I have chosen not to eat. I am not what the world tells me. I am beautiful.
I have been consumed by weakness. I am not justified by excuses. I am standing.
I have been failed. I am not dependent. I am moving forward.
I have failed myself and others in the matters that matter most. I am not a failure. I am learning.
I have hurt in ways it feels there will be no full recovery. I am not weak. I am healing.
I have felt desperation. I am not desperate. I am loved.
I have felt hunger, a deep, deep hunger of the soul. I am not empty. I am seeking.
I have been misunderstood. I am not in need of your acceptance. I am confident in who I am.
I have believed lies. I am not a victim. I am finding the truth.
I have been broken. I am not forgetting. I am choosing to live.
I have felt worthless. I am not a mistake. I am chosen.
I have scares nobody can see. I am not controlled by my past. I am in charge of my future.
Now I want you to go through and read only the first sentences of every line.
Now go through and read the second sentence in every line.
And now the third sentence of every line.
The first sentence is often times how we view ourselves. It is easier to grab a hold of our mistakes, our fears, our failures, and focus on those things. The second line is when we take a step forward, we say we are NOT those things, and suddenly we can stand a little taller. And then, we do something even more powerful. In the third line we redefine ourselves, not based on our past. And we cling to that, and we live by that, and we refuse to be defeated or defined by our past. We have a choice in everything we do. We are in charge of our future.
Now it’s your turn. Let’s keep this going. Let’s all create a line for ourselves, and create the largest compilation of overcoming the past with our new truth as we can. Do one line, or do ten lines. You would be amazed at how powerful this is, and how much you can help others by being bold and sharing a small glimpse of your story. Let’s get real for a minute. Be bold. Take the chance.
What did you think? Did anything resonate with you? What is your story?
I would be so honored if you would add a line that is true of your own life to the comments below. You can leave it anonymously if you wish. Please consider taking the time to do this. You will be amazed with how impactful it can be to yourself and those reading it.
If you don’t want to leave your lines in the comments, click here and submit it directly to me. I will add it to the post anonymously.
Response from an anonymous reader: