Your definition of yourself is the only one that matters.
For years I thought I was struggling and perhaps even depressed. There were moments when I felt intense sadness and thought about things on level that was deeper than usual. In those moments I shared. I would write a blog, or share with a group, my partner or friends. I would share about the things in life that were heavy. For me, sharing was important. I believed that it allowed people in my life to be fully in and helped others who were experiencing the same things to feel less alone. There were people in my life that would tell me regularly that they could see me struggling. I started to believe them. I believed that I struggled often. I allowed it to become the definition of who I was. I was just someone who struggled.
When I was able to take a step back and realize what was happening, I was able to see that I am not defined by struggles. I am someone who is sensitive, who thinks deeply, feels deeply, asks for help when I can’t do it alone, and is not afraid to talk about the heavy stuff or the struggles that we all face sometimes as human beings.
I was convinced that I was unhappy, that life was hard. The truth was, I lived in happiness everyday. I would laugh and play with my boys, experience joy in conversations with friends, smile as the warm breeze hit my face on a walk. There was happiness all around me. My ability to listen to what my soul was telling me and be in conversation around it was a strength, not struggle.
The truth I was realizing was that I didn’t need to allow others to define me. I always have the power to be who I want and choose to be in spite of how they see me. The people who felt I was living in struggle were the very people who I had spent so many moments in laughter, happiness and creation with. I realized that my honesty in moments when I am feeling down, which is the same honesty with which I share when I am feeling joy, is what makes me brave. The courage to share the upset, hurt or sadness, is a true strength.
I challenge you to take a look at where you are defining those around you. Take a look at how you are allowing that definition to limit your experience of them. The way you define yourself is the only definition that matters. Remember that we are complex creatures. There is so much that we experience and being with it all is one of the beautiful things about being human. A definition can be so limiting. Don’t allow yourself to be defined by one thing and allow that to be your truth. There is so much power in what we tell ourselves. When we believe a story or definition someone has, or one we have, we start to unconsciously create it. Make sure you are defining yourself in an expansive, powerful way. Make sure it is something you can stay connected to when you are subject to another’s definition of you in relation to their own experiences. Take action to be the person you choose to define yourself as being.