Will The Real Me, Please Stand Up?

by LaVerne N. Curtis

In my lifelong quest to be the best woman that I can be, I have dedicated countless brain hours to analyzing my psyche, the way in which I treat others, and my behavioral patterns. I take this very serious, probably more so than the average person. While attempting to evolve and elevate myself, I am in constant search of the tools needed to live a fulfilling life. My circle of sisterfriends and I regularly have roundtable discussions and e-mail conversations. We cover the gamut of topics, everything from childhood matters to our relationships, past and present, with the men in our lives.

Ever since I can remember there has been this cloud looming over my head. The pressure unbearable at times. I needed to be the best daughter money could buy for my competitive father. Oh, and did I mention, he was a starch perfectionist to boot? I was under his watchful, yet critical, eye at all times, and had to excel, and perform beyond perfection, be the best, "survival of the fittest", is what he’d say. As I began to move into adolescence I found myself, yet again, not good enough for the guy I was dating, and trying to please him in order to hold on. Whatever it was that needed to be altered I became that. Losing myself in the midst of it all. See what my father did, in all of his wisdom, and love, was attach "wrongness" to me, the person. I couldn’t shake this stigma as I grew into adulthood. Constantly trying to "fix" myself, make myself more approachable, smarter, faster, prettier, better, because apparently there was something not quite right with what I already was. As soon as I accomplished one form of what I viewed as being "better", I’d move on to something else.

In my defense, I have been bombarded most of my life with the thoughts and opinions of everyone else. Of course, this is no different than what a lot of people experience, but the difference is, I allowed it to penetrate my spirit. What "they" think I should do, what "they" think I should feel, or even how "they" think I should react. I lost sight of what it was that I truly wanted out of this life, and gave that power to an outside source, better known as public opinion. LaVerne became defined by the judgmental comments of others. In this day and age of negativity, it’s rare that you have people that will build you up, which is why self-love is imperative.

I, myself, have probably purchased and read enough Iyanla Vanzant books to wallpaper an entire house. ‘Self-improvement’ is the catch phrase of the day. My crusade never ending. Sure, I’ve had some heartache, and some loss, some of it self-inflicting, but it wasn’t until recently that I discovered how awesome and beautiful I truly am, despite what anyone else thinks of me. I am a gift from God. It wasn’t until I came to the end of myself AGAIN, that I realized the peace I’ve been searching for, the elevation I seek, already lies in me. I just had to reach out, grab it, claim it for myself, and never doubt my abilities in attaining it again. Self-doubt is a thief, and has robbed me of the joy and happiness God has placed me here to experience. The mistakes that I’ve made, the people that I’ve hurt, and the forgiveness I have problems giving myself, are all examples of my humanness. I am a student of life. The world and its many experiences are my classroom.

It is now, today, that I heal from the past, no matter how awful it may have been. It is now, today, that I face a new day, a new me, a content me. It is now, today, that I know that I am enough, that I am love, that I am a wonderful creature filled with gifts to share. It is now, today, that I take back the power given to everyone else, which has taken dominion over my life. It is now, today, that I ask myself……WILL THE REAL ME, PLEASE STAND UP?

Will The Real Me, Please Stand Up? by LaVerne N. Curtis

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