• John Izze

A New Chapter

How Brave Are You?

Bene Brown writes, "Owning your story and loving yourself through the process is the bravest thing you will ever do." But the quote that is often left out is what she says after, "and further, it allows us to write a new ending." So, here is the question I've asked myself over the years, and now I ask you, are you willing to take a risk in writing a new chapter?

Yes, we have lived through sexual abuse - a traumatic experience in our childhood. Out of necessity, we developed a range of strategies that have helped us survive. Now is our chance to rewrite our story from the childhood tales we told ourselves to the adult tales that will determine the course of our future. Don't miss your opportunity to create a more powerful reality.

After the traumatic experience in my life, I remember looking into the mirror and staring, for the first time, at someone I didn't know. The thought of this person existing and taking control of me was the exact person I wanted to avoid. Yet, through this lonely child's memory, the weighted event became a spark that ignited powerful emotions. And with these feelings, a series of strategies or stories developed to hide the pain and suffering.

The child that stared back at me through the mirror wrote the stories I created for myself in my mind's eye to chart a new path for the future. As an adult, those same childhood stories do not serve me well today. So how did I take the step to rewrite my story? I looked at the strategies I've used over the years and began to unpack why they made sense. In doing so, I agreed to love myself through the process.

The stories I created were protective, they made sense in the mind of a child, but as an adult, they became a source of new problems. I began to understand the choices I made that numbed the pain. I began to understand how my thoughts helped me avoid painful feelings. I realized that my relationships were more of a fantasy that would quickly run its course and not reality. I understood reality was something I wanted to avoid.

So, I took a deep breath and found the meaning of being brave and loving myself through the process. I began to unravel those stories and comfort the boy that looked back at me through the mirror. I laughed at the stories we created and the fantasies we used as a blanket at night. I looked at how far I've come and made a conscious effort to focus on the choices I make today—choosing options that serve me well and help me put myself first above all others.

In doing so, I started to discover my authentic and true self. I now understand that my actions in life are a true reflection of my inner truth. It is who I am at my deepest core - an authentic representation based on genuineness, originality, and legitimacy. So I practice daily letting go of who I thought I was supposed to be by removing the veneer, pretending to be something to others that I am not, and embracing who I actually am. I am the boy in the mirror, and I'm brave enough to say, I Love You.

Are you?

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