BY: SIMONE SMITH
Greetings Toronto Caribbean readers! It has been an honor writing for the community for the past three years, and I am encouraged to continue to write because I know now more than ever, people need to read something different. The news has a way of making an already tough life seem tougher by offering stories of war, murder, hypocrisies, and immorality. I aim to provide, peace, solitude, truth and moral ways of dealing with you and with life.
I decided it was time to start letting others understand what self-growth looks like and what it has been like for me. My self-growth project was being aware of how special I am, and knowing that I was good enough. I understand that this might seem like a very self-centered self-growth project, but I figured that it was okay because it was supposed to be personal. I want to start off by introducing the emerging Simone Jennifer Smith.
I deserve the best education, I deserve the best career, and I deserve great friends and a great relationship. I know I deserve these things because I am worth it. I put everything I have into my education, my career, my friends and my relationships. Things may not always go as planned in these situations but nothing will ever take away from my experience. Sometimes we feel guilty because we believe that thinking about oneself is selfish; well, it is. It is supposed to be; it is the only way that you are able to deal with those aspects of your life that you have disregarded for so long. I now know how great I am because of how negatively I viewed myself before. My negative view on myself allowed for others to view me in the same way. My self-growth contract allowed for me to focus on what it was that allowed me to feel like I wasn’t good enough. Once I gained perspective on these ideas I was able to establish what it would take for me to achieve my goal.
The first step in my transition was acknowledging who I was; my being. Rollo May suggests that “being” should be understood to mean “potentia”. This is the potentiality of being larger or greater then who you currently are. Let’s look at the word potential. When a teacher would tell me that I had great potential I would take it as a positive statement. I am almost sure that my educator meant in a positive way, but when reviewing this statement I realized that what she might have really been saying is, “Your okay now, but you are not as great as you could be.” Think about how many times you have heard this statement; how many times you have been told that you have, “Potential!”
I began by looking at my relation to myself and the world. I started by asking myself some important questions. How do I relate to myself? How do I relate to others? How have my experiences led to me not liking myself? Do my relationships have a determining factor in how I view myself? Asking myself these questions were the prerequisite for working through some of my self-worth issues. I discovered that for years I had relied on what others said about me to determine my worth.
I have had my heart broken many times and suffered many painful relationships. In the end I was left feeling worse than how I started. This destructive pattern existed in my life for so long that I didn’t even realize that I was still behaving that way. I consciously made efforts in recognizing irrational thoughts and stopping them before they became real. I am thankful that I had the time to reflect on myself, and I hope that this article will jump start others into doing the same.