A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to give a presentation at a local women’s shelter on self-esteem. As I have been training to become a certified sexual assault advocate, I was delighted and agreed to speak to the group of ladies and give a one-hour presentation. I titled it, “Phenomenal, Beautiful You.” I gave that presentation today.
Now due to numerous reasons and past experiences, I myself struggle with low self-esteem. I still don’t find certain tasks easy, comfortable, or painless. So, everything that I shared with the ladies today, I was speaking to myself. Sometimes we just need to speak words of affirmation over ourselves! I let those precious ladies know that I am just like them, only now, sitting on the opposite side of the table. However, not without being well acquainted with the struggles that they face. I shared my story, and my insecurities, and spoke on what the definition of insanity is: Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Here is one of the quotes that I printed out on card stocks for each lady to take:
When you change your thinking, you change your belief;
When you change your beliefs, you change you expectations;
When you change your expectations, you change your attitude;
When you change your attitude, you change your behavior;
When you change your behavior, you change your performance;
When you change your performance, you change your life.
This is the kicker to today’s event – today would have been my sister’s birthday, had she not passed away after being struck down by a hit-and-run drive, some 40+ years ago! I was a lonely, neglected child. But when my sister came into the world, from early on I gladly took care of her. Many times it was just the two of us while our parents were gone. But I didn’t mind. It was better doing things together than doing them alone. I promised that I would love and care for her forever. When tragedy struck, she was only two. How do you think this nine-year-old big sister felt at the time? Do you think she struggled with self-esteem, insecurities, and self-doubt for the majority of her life? Yeah, you can say that all right. And I will continue to work on it.
I share my experiences because it is possible to make a difference in this world. Just like my pastor says: If you have a pulse you have a purpose! Today’s message was well received and the hour flew by quickly. Afterward, no one wanted to stop chatting and visiting with me. They felt inspired. In the end, they knew I was one of them.
When I look back on my life, I see pain, mistakes, and heartache. When I look in the mirror, I see strength, learned lessons and pride in myself.
© M.A. Pérez 2015, All Rights Reserved