This is Me – The Invisible Scars
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I was just outside enjoying the beautiful weather, watching my cat Juno lay happily in the sun. I decided to play some music from my happy music playlist. The song, This Is Me, from the movie The Greatest Showman came on. The lyrics of the song remind me how we each have the warrior within us. I have so many invisible scars. So many of them came from bullying, criticism, self-doubt, and a chemical imbalance.
As Joe and I write and illustrate our book, Happy Medium, I sometimes get feelings of imposter syndrome to come up. I feel like the invisible scars are what feed these thoughts. If you don’t know, Imposter Syndrome put simply, is the experience of feeling like a phony—you feel as though at any moment you are going to be found out as a fraud—like you don't belong where you are, and you only got there through dumb luck. It refers to an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be.
Some of the common signs of imposter syndrome include:
An inability to realistically assess your competence and skills
Attributing your success to external factors
Berating your performance
Fear that you won't live up to expectations
Sabotaging your own success
Setting very challenging goals and feeling disappointed when you fall short
(For more information about Imposter Syndrome and to see where I received the definition, click here.)
The experiences that we are sharing in our book were very real and very intense dealing with my chronic pain and mental illnesses. This WAS me. Part of me knows the courage and strength both Joe and I had at that time. Sometimes I wonder and question, “Did I really eliminate the bipolar symptoms and anxiety?” (Yes, Here’s the proof: I pushed myself hard emotionally out of my comfort zone in 2020 working on a business project. It has taken a few months to recover but I was able to do so effectively and grow from it. So, yes, I can confirm that I am able to manage my emotional stability without medication for over 15 years now.)
Our publisher, Morgan James Publishing, also believes in our story and how important it is to share. And yet, sometimes I hear other people’s stories and think to myself, “Wow, they had it so much worse. What makes me think what we accomplished was such a great feat of perseverance, love, and courage?” But it was. In the sparkling moments of being at the right place at the right time for the right person, our story changes everything for them. That one person needed to hear it that day to get them through whatever they were going through. There are times we talked to a friend because we had a feeling to call them. To us it was random happenstance; to them, it saved their life. They were suicidal and saw that small flicker of light, the light of hope. This is me.
Even in our business ventures, we wondered how we achieved some successes. Many times, we felt like we could have done better. I remind myself, each experience is a building block to the next. It seemed so surreal that we earned $21k at one of our coffee catering events. To fight the feelings of imposter syndrome and remind ourselves what we are capable of, we had to trace our steps back to where we started. How we earned the right to be there, to earn that. Fighting that internal voice of self-doubt. This is me.
One way I am diminishing the effects of these feelings, these scars, is by constantly feeding my mind. I have been focused on learning about the inner voice. Focusing on understanding myself and who I am. Two books that I’m studying are The Untethered Soul and The Surrender Experience by Michael Singer. The goal is to allow the energy of life to flow through us, not get stuck inside us. I completely recognize that all of my physical and mental health scars were created by energy getting stuck. We are not usually aware of the tools to get unstuck. But now I know they are out there and part of your journey is to find them for yourself. On my journey, I have found and used many of them quite successfully. It’s ok that sometimes I slip and have to get myself unstuck again. I know how to recognize it and move through it effortlessly now. This is me.
Joe and I love to travel both in the outer world and inner world. On this journey of self and internal exploration, I have found the most beautiful treasure, ME. Sometimes I have to remind myself that one man’s trash is another’s treasure. It’s none of your business what other people think about you. It only matters what you think of yourself. Once you truly find love for yourself, treasuring your valuable self and all your scars, you can experience an open heart. With a heart that flows energy freely, you will see so much more joy and radiate that to others. Be the light for others to see the hope and joy of this beautiful thing we call life.
This is Me – The Beacon of Hope