Who I Am Not

When I start to drift down, I tend to forget.

I forget being happy. I forget that people love me. I forget that every down day doesn’t mean I’m entering a depression.

Most of all, I forget who I am.

I am a black woman with great hair 🙂 I am an awesome mother to three beautiful children who jump on me when I get home because they are so happy to see me. I am a good cook, and I love to do it. I am a loving wife. I am a good worker. I am a good scholar. I am a great friend. I am funny. I am honest. I am loving. I am caring. I am smart. I am a healthy weight.

Instead, I focus on Who I Am Not.

Who I Am Not is a tenured faculty member (because I’m really not good enough to become one.)  Who I Am Not is mother of the year (because I work too much and my house is messy.) Who I Am Not is a good daughter (because I’ve been too busy to call my parents who live in a different time zone.) Who I Am Not is a good friend (because I don’t call and text as often as I should.) Who I Am Not is a good wife (because such a wife would be having sex every night.) Who I Am Not is a famous recording artist (because I was too lazy to make music my everything.) Who I Am Not is a supermodel with a chiseled, hot body. Who I Am Not is everything I wish I could be.

I used to have a list of affirmations taped to the wall near my bed. Since we’ve moved, I hadn’t thought much about them. I found them today and pulled them back out. I’m glad I found the original as it reminds me of when I received this. It reminds me of when I got healthy and turned things around.

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The things that we tell ourselves about ourselves are often more powerful that what others tell us about ourselves. Someone can tell me I’m beautiful and smart and kind and loving, but they say it once and it goes in on ear and out the other. It’s not lasting. The running commentary in my head is there constantly. I can’t get away from it.

So I have to replace that annoying pessimist, that Debbie Downer, that jerk who never has anything nice to say. And the affirmations need to be said out loud. I need to hear my own voice telling me good things about myself, even if I don’t believe them. My voice replaces the jerk’s voice. I don’t want to hear her anymore.

So here are my three affirmations:

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I am. I’m already. I love.

Yes.

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