If I asked you to name all of the things that you love, how long would it take for you to name yourself?
Let me tell you a story.
Several years ago, I met with a counselor that asked me a life-changing question. She said, “Eunice, do you hate yourself?” It was a question no one had ever asked me. It would have been easier if she asked me if I loved myself. THAT was a question I had an answer to, and I probably would’ve responded to it by saying how much I loved certain aspects of myself, not realizing that most of those aspects were ways I loved others, not ways I loved myself. So once the word HATE rolled off a strangers tongue, it was like a flashlight had illuminated my past hurts and traumas. Suddenly all the things I wished I could've done differently or been careless about in my life resurfaced. It was true. I didn't love myself. I wasn't even sure if anyone did. Tears streamed down my face, and in that moment I muffled up any bit of courage I had left, and answered, "Yes. Yes. I guess I do. I guess I do hate myself".
I remember the counselor sitting across from me, and smiling without any doubt or hesitation as she said, "You're much further than you think Eunice. You are much further in all of this than you think. And this is where the healing begins. This is where it can start. There is hope, and you will find it, you've already found it. Now to just trust and believe it".
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I've definitely come a long way since then, but if you’ve followed my writing over the years, what you just read may have sounded very familiar because it is. Several years ago, after going through a dark time in my life, I wrote and shared that story about a girl I named Anaya and titled it, “Freedom". Today, I decided to re-share that story as it happened, to me, because Anaya is and was me. I don’t share this story for pity or sympathy. I share this story to set the stage for the next 30 days. To show you one of the many challenges and lessons of life I’ve had to work through and experience, “the journey of learning to love self.” Every lesson I've had to learn in my life falls under this theme. So it seemed fitting to start day one of thirtyfor30 here. Sharing lessons I've learned along the way about femininity, identity, and loving myself. These lessons will be placed under the category Revelations because well, that's what all these lessons were.
I recognize not everything I’ve been through is meant to be shared publicly, and trust me when I say I won’t be sharing every detail of the last 29 years of my life for all to see. However, when I was talking to a friend yesterday, they reminded me that no matter what aspects of my journey I decided to show the world today, tomorrow, the next 29 days, or in the future, people will always judge, so why not have them judge authentic me.
Every day, every year, and every moment gives us all an opportunity to uncover something more profound about ourselves, which in retrospective is a beautiful thing.
So here we go…authentic me…thirtyfor30 — cheers to day 1.