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 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 realized 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. Funny though, when I took it down and changed to a calendar screen saver, he gradually started with his verbal assaults. But at that time it did not matter. I knew my truth. Those words I started 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. Here’s an exercise for you. Grab a pen and a bit of paper and write the things of yourself you know to be true. Go on, do it. Finish? 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.
How do you combat the negative words spoken about you? Do share!
Carlana Charles is the visionary and editor-in-chief of FemmePowered. She is a womanist, writer, speaker, story midwife and facilitator of meaningful and engaging conversations. When she is not working in or on FemmePowered, she can be found resting, baking, reading or scribbling furiously in her journal whilst sipping wine or coffee, sometimes both at the same time. She is currently working on her first book and hopes to release it in September 2018.