About 12 years ago, when I was in a particularly life-changing stage of my life, and figuring out who I was, where I was going, and what role my choices and behavior played in where I was at that moment and what my life had become, I found a declaration written by Virginia Satir.
Just the other day I found it on an old disk and thought it is something worthy of being shared.
Reflecting back on where I came from, and forward to where I am today, and looking beyond to where I want to be, I must admit that the most difficult lesson for me was learning how to be authentic. Often I would be like a chameleon, changing, sometimes ever so slightly, to try to fit into the image of what I thought I needed to present to others might be. Or what I thought others expected of me.
I finally came to a point where I realized that I had to quit hiding from myself; I had to quit lying to myself. I had to own up to myself who I was, what I was, and make choices in my life–where I wanted to go from that point on…what kind of woman I wanted to be, and the example I wanted to share with others.
I knew how to hide the things I didn’t want others to know. I needed to be brutal with myself, and also hold myself accountable to the others who loved me.
It seems like forever ago that I was struggling with those issues full force. I was in my early 40s. I guess at the ripe old age of 53 it IS forever ago!
I am grateful to those people who were so instrumental in supporting me through that process, who helped me to grow through some of the toughest of times. Each of them, whether positive or negative influences, has been important, teaching me how to be who I am…and knowing that they still love me, sometimes in spite of myself!
Because of the support of others while I fell flat on my face, offering me a hand to help me get up and dust myself off, and traveling close by, but not doing it for me, I was allowed (sometimes, forced) to see the real me in mirror…the stronger, capable me.
And it has given me an opportunity to know how to travel close to others and offer myself in a healthier way for myself and others when I am needed.
MY DECLARATION OF SELF ESTEEM by Virginia Satir.
The following was written in answer to a 15-year-old girl’s question, “How can I prepare myself for a fulfilling life?”
I am me.
In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. There are people who have some parts like me but no one adds up exactly like me.
Therefore, everything that comes out of me is authentically mine because I alone choose it.
I own everything about me — my body, including everything it does; my mind, including all my thoughts and ideas; my eyes, including the images of all they behold; my feelings, whatever they might be –anger, joy, frustration, love, disapointment, excitement; my mouth and all the words that come out of it — polite, sweet and rough, correct or incorrect; my voice, loud and soft; all my actions, whether they be to others or myself.
I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears.
I own all my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes.
Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By so doing, I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts. I can then make it possible for all of me to work in my best interests.
I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know. But as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for the solutions to the puzzles and for ways to fid out more about me.
However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is me. This is authentic and represents where I am at that moment in time.
When I review later how I looked and sounded, what I said and did, and how I thought and felt, some parts may turn out to be unfitting. I can discard that which is unfitting and keep that which proved fitting, and invent something new for that which I discarded.
I can see, hear, feel, think, say and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me.
I own me and therefore I can engineer me.
I am me and I am okay.