Some of you reading this don’t know me. Some of you, who know me, know my ‘story’ and others of you don’t…not yet, anyway. Some of you have been in my life long enough to have known me when I was unhealthy and have seen me grow and change over the years. Others have only known me in health. I find it curious that the people who know me now that I’m healthy, often don’t believe I was ever unhealthy. They believe I was misdiagnosed or something. They can’t wrap their heads around who I was then, compared to who I am now. I think that is a testament to how much change and growth I’ve actualized in my life. It’s pretty amazing to me sometimes. I did this. I had a lot of support and love in my life that helped me have a safe place to create the changes I’ve made, and I did the work. I took the risks and climbed the mountain and now I get to see the beautiful view from up here: the view of life, my life full of health, joy and love. Many of the people who’ve known me only in health can’t imagine that struggle or journey. What they see today just doesn’t match the ‘story’ of who I was. It is a wonderful gift to be seen for who I am and not the ‘story’ of who I was.
Even after becoming healthy, I didn’t always have such a healthy view of things. Once upon a time, I was so attached to my diagnosis, that when others didn’t believe me or thought that I was misdiagnosed, I would get defensive and even angry. Who am I, if not this journey, if not this story? Who am I, if not the struggle to overcome? When others questioned my journey from a place of doubt, I felt like everything I had done was being marginalized or diminished. One day, I realized it no longer mattered. I am not my ‘story’, my diagnosis. That was my ego, wanting kudos for all I’d accomplished. That was not me embracing who I am and being present in my life today. I was able to let go. I am not my story. I am not my past. Those things helped shape me, they are not me. Letting go of that attachment to my diagnosis, my ‘story’ was so freeing. My ‘story’ is only important if it can help or inspire others to know that they too can become, grow, and change; if it plants a seed in others to allow them to say, “Yes, I am not my diagnosis. I am not my story. I have infinite potential to grow into whoever I want to be.”
There is the possibility that I was misdiagnosed. I don’t think it really matters. I went from being a person who had a difficult time functioning in the world and connecting with others; a person who hurt myself and the people around me, to someone who is the opposite of that. I function well and fully. I connect easily and lovingly. I help others and myself. It’s a beautiful thing. I’m proud of myself. I’m thankful for all the support and love of those in my life during the especially difficult times.
I know how to do it now. I know how to assist others in doing it. Our minds are amazing tools and when used properly our minds can help us achieve amazing things. When we transform our thinking we can truly transform our lives.
What I want you to know is that you can change your life, that you can become the person you imagine yourself to be, the person you’ve always known deep down that you are. You can become that person you somehow haven’t yet grown into, that person you really are. I know how frustrating it is to know that the fullness of you is available and not yet attained. I understand. I grow more into the fullness of who I am every day. It’s an ongoing process. I grow and become, get comfortable awhile, then stretch and grow some more. I become more self-aware, more confident, more me, each time. Sometimes I have setbacks. There are days that I don’t feel that great, that I think I should be better than I am. Should I? It’s all part of the journey. It’s all part of the growing. I’m a work in progress, a beautiful, loving, amazing work in progress. I used to be a diamond in the rough and now, I am a diamond becoming more brilliant whose cut and color keep improving. I’m the pearl who is now a beautiful piece of jewelry, and no longer the sand irritating the oyster.
I know that you too can continue to grow and become the fullness of who you are. I know this because I’ve done it and continue to do it. I believe completely that as we transform our thinking we can and will transform our lives. It can start as simply as changing the lens through which we perceive the world. Are you willing to change that lens? What else is possible for you?