In the movie, Chalk Talk, there is a priest who counsels alcoholics and tells stories to inspire those who are in recovery. He told one particular story about a woman who came to him after her drunken husband called her a whore.
“Would you be upset if he called you a chair?” he asked her.
“Of course not,” she said.
“Why not?” he asked.
“I know I am not a chair,” she said.
“Don’t you know that you are not a whore?” he asked.
Ultimately, he tells her it doesn’t matter what people call you, you decide what you answer to.
During my years as a public speaker and writer, I have been called many things (some not so nice). Even in personal relationships, especially when they start to go sour, we all have experienced being called a name at some point in time. We all remember the times on the playground in elementary school where we inevitably were called something that brought tears to our eyes. We would run home to our Mom and she would recite the ever popular, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me!” Really? Is there anyone out there who has never been hurt by words or names before? I am not sure who made that one up, but it’s the most untrue statement I have ever heard!
Words hurt. It is easy to get tossed around in your own mind by other people’s opinions of you. When I find myself struggling with whose opinion to listen to, mine or someone else’s, I always come back to one place. My heart. I filter everything I hear and experience through my heart. This is where the voice of truth echoes. Does it feel right what that other person said? If not, then what is the truth? Who am I?
Our world is based on perception and the only perception that is valid is your own. How do you see yourself? If it falls somewhere below the line of “ok,” you may need a little work on your own self image. We do not take care of what we do not value. Begin to value yourself by taking some time for yourself. What do you like to do? What or who makes you feel better? Make a list and do one thing every day for yourself. Define who you are. If you don’t, someone else will for sure do it for you. Make some space in your life for you!
So, what do you answer to?
Truly my own woman,
Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and Google+.