Remember what I was saying about bricks? Don’t watch Oprah without a hardhat… especially if she’s interviewing a guest like Tyler Perry. For those that don’t know Tyler wasn’t always a mega-successful filmmaker. He was once the victim of sexual and physical abuse that made him feel like he was one of the walking dead though most of his 20s.
He, like so many of us, was probably waiting on the Great Until. That moment in time when we felt truly delivered from our past and able to conquer our future. It’s the moment when we’ve lost weight, got that dream job, found that dream spouse or made any significant accomplishment that – not so ironically – cannot even happen until we fix all the stuff that’s wrong first.
Otherwise no spouse, no job, no event will ever make you feel like you’ve been delivered.
I thought as soon as a man loved me for me I’d finally love myself.
I have a great husband who loves me as is, who doesn’t ask any more of me than I’m willing to give, who treats me like I’m perfect while still giving me room to grow as a person, and even that has not made up for all the jerks who came before him. No amount of love will heal the scars of pain – UNLESS they come from me first.
Yet here I sit waiting on The Great Until – some miraculous moment that will flip it like a switch from self loathing to self esteem.
Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway taught me that the switch requires work. I can’t have self esteem until I have accomplishments. I’m never going to stop feeling inadequate until I start pushing myself and seeing exactly what I can accomplish.
But deep inside I feel like that wouldn’t be enough… that I don’t have what it takes to really, truly succeed. I think in a lot of ways I’m still waiting for that Great Until to “feel normal” – whatever the hell that means.
Tyler’s appearance on Oprah could not have been better timed. His insightful comments were so profound they punched me right in the gut, but the one that hit me with the most force was when he said, “The strength it took to go through it is the same strength it takes to let it go.”
This means I don’t have to wait one more minute for the Great Until. Everything I need I already have. What got me through being molested at age four, my father dying when I was only eleven, my son dying when he was nine days, Dan dying at age 43… all of those pivotal moments I survived because I had the inner strength to do so.
That strength means I can forgive myself for the things I’ve done and that have been done to me.
And this isn’t just about trauma either. There’s a philosophy among believers that says God will never take you will his grace will not sustain you. That means God would never give you something he wouldn’t support.
That means the strength it took to write a book also equals the strength it takes to sell it.
I don’t have to wait on accomplishments. They’re there. And they are a part of my rich, inner strength. Not only can I handle the bad stuff, but I can do great things. Many great things. The possibilities are endless.
So I refuse to keep beating myself up over what I have or haven’t done. The strength I have to get to where I am exactly equal to the strength it takes to let it go and to move forward.
If you’re struggling with this, keep repeating this mantra to yourself and you will feel so much stronger each time you do.
The Great Until is now. I have all I need to do all I want, and get all I desire.