Saturday, October 18, 2014

Letter To Self: My Journey to Transformation Begins

In early July 2013, a task was assigned to write a letter to myself.  It was time for a change--any change.  Today, several have asked for an essay to nominate me for an award.  It was challenging to break out of the mode of my studies to write this essay about me.  The first draft was very clinical and quite impersonal as I wrote about communication.  Several responded with request for a re-write as they insisted I write about me.  Returning to my very first assignments I realize how things have changed.  Before the award results are announced, as difficult and as challenging as it has been to write this essay at the request of so many (another shock)--it is necessary for me to share the beginning.

Because this award nomination was unexpected and while I considered non-participation, it seems many have been moved by my journey.  The recognition is not a driving factor for me as passionate as those who desire for me to receive this recognition.  What is important to me is to share the experience of how tremendous this change has been.  It has been challenging, not in curriculum or grades--that was the easy part.  What has been challenging is pushing the boundaries of how I feel and exploring the emotions behind my anxieties, my physical reactions to test, the self-talk that happens in my head.  This is the beginning of a story that has created a crucial milestone of self-exploration and determination for a change that is challenging for most as they dwell in denial of self-perception as well as the perception of others.  In understanding my own challenges, the challenges of others has less fog of illusion with better acceptance of myself and others.

Letter to Self: July 14, 2013

Dear Chris:

It has been a long road filled with stumbling blocks, challenges, heartache, frustrations, and aggravations. The last 10 years you have spent a lot of time battling cancer, struggling with grief, struggling with financial challenges because you were trying to make everyone happy, and taking care of others.

In the last 4 years you have neglected your inner child, your inner strength, and concerned yourself too much with how others perceive you to be. Tina Turner said, “If you are unhappy with something in your life, then change it”. You did well in the past keeping this in mind which has served you well. However, your actions and reactions were revolved around others.

Once again, you find yourself at a crossroad where the only person you can blame, the only person who you can change is you. That was what you discovered years ago; only this time you are not getting divorced, eliminating toxic family members and friends. This time, it will be a challenge because this has nothing to do with external influences although you have perceived it to be. This challenge has everything to do with you and your fears.  

Fear of math, fear of failure, fear of vulnerability, fear of disappointing yourself and others. 

When the possibility of death seemed looming, you tackled your fears head on. The fear of water, the fear of commitment, etc. It was easy to disregard the long term goals with the idea that it would not make any difference and you focused on the fears that had more to do with your adrenaline rush desires over your internal growth. The internal growth for success and knowledge gave up when you gave in to the battle against cancer. 

Since the passing of your Mother, it made it easier to put any thought of an education to the way side using her absence as the reasoning behind your lack of motivation, your lack of drive to self improve. Furthermore, in taking an IQ test result of less than 100 and believing those results, you were quick to say, “See? I am not capable.”

You spend so much time and effort in working on communication or not communicating in a negative manner that you have stopped communicating with yourself in a positive manner.  When you do communicate with yourself, you berate yourself, call yourself stupid, and spend a lot of time hating yourself again.

It is time now to remember to speak well to yourself. Be yourself and grow for yourself. To thy own self be true. Be accountable for your own thoughts and actions and do what you know you need to do and overcome those fears.

Love, Yourself.