I can’t remember a time when what somebody else thought about what I did or said or even thought wasn’t always in my mind. I mean constantly. Why?
I’m not sure. Maybe it was being raised under the sharp gaze of respectability politics. Maybe it was the double consciousness of which W.E.B. often wrote. Maybe it was a tenth of talent that disallowed a life in the shadows. Maybe it is trauma response or survival skills or any combination of any number of things but what other people think of me has always been a part of my decision-making process. I hate it. It drives my anxiety. Now, put that together with a vivid and active imagination and try not to laugh at the number of sleepless nights I had over the years. Try not to imagine how many times I shopped for hours to find the perfect outfit and then looked in those mirrors in the dressing room and picked myself apart from memory and left the store with no outfit and a fresh batch of depression. I am exhausted.
So, I have spent years trying to figure out who is to blame for this. And it took me all this time to finally get it through my thick head. What somebody else thinks of me is none of my business. I have wasted time trying to convince "them" that I am worthy.
Surely, I have been completely blind! Aint nobody worrying 'bout me!
Though my sight remains impaired, it is coming back. I’m beginning to see.
Have you ever thought about the fact that you never see yourself through your own eyes? You only see yourself, you full self, through your own eyes, if you look into a full-length mirror. Even then what you see is a reflection. A reflection that you project to the world. Do you even know who you really are?
You can chose how the world sees you or the world will tell you how to see yourself. It’s up to you. It’s up to me. Starting today, I’m not letting someone else tell me how to see myself. I’m going to get to know me for me. I’m going to believe that I am who God says I am, and act accordingly…