This week and especially today, I have been battling my demons and my emotions. I really don't know where it all came from, but I realized today that I have to look myself in the face and get in touch with my pain in order to find my peace.
My entire life (up until about 5 years ago) I battled low self esteem. Yes, ME! When I tell people that, they find it hard to believe but it is so so true! I have to come clean so that I can continue to heal, but so that others can read my testimony and heal too.
I never thought that I was good enough. I had a lot of pressure on me at a young age to be the best at everything I do. I was identified as gifted when I was very young. That was a blessing and a curse at the same time. My mother expected and wanted a lot out of me, but she didn't really know how to motivate me to be the person that she thought I could be. Instead, I think her brand of motivation had the opposite effect. She wasn't abusive to me, but she was hard on me. She thought that comparing me to others would make me want to achieve, but it didn't. It made me resentful, which then made me lazy and uncaring. While I was battling that, I was also battling the fact that I was unattractive. I was very slim and people would always comment on it. It was so painful to go to school and hear all of the things that people would sometimes say. I was bullied in the 3rd grade and then again tormented in the 6th grade. By the time I reached Middle school, I was emotionally and mentally a train wreck. I was suffering in silence because I didn't want people to think I was weak. I didn't want people to know that I had weaknesses. That was one of the biggest mistakes of my life. When I got to High School, I was just mentally and emotionally unhealthy, but no one knew. I kept everything bottled up inside of me and kept people at arm's length. I felt ugly and unappealing to girls; in fact, I couldn't get a girl to even look my way, much less want to date me. People called me names and I believed what they called me. I became what they called me because I chose to believe I was weak and vulnerable. Life was hell.
I remember feeling like I wanted to kill myself. I could never bring myself to do it, but I contemplated suicide more times than I care to remember. I wrote the note but didn't have the guts to leave it. I wasn't even good at plotting to kill myself. What a waste of space I was. I plodded on and just really went through the motions of life until I graduated and went to college.
Now, the most amazing thing about all of this is that I had friends (lots of them), family that loved me and by Senior year I was THE most popular person in the entire school. It was great…but at the same time, it meant absolutely nothing. Nothing means NOTHING if you don't love yourself. I was in the greatest moment of my life, having the worst time of my life.
It wasn't until I learned that I was worth something because God made me to be SOMEBODY, that my life started to change. A couple of years ago, I took a hiatus from everything and everyone so that I could focus on God and focus on myself. It was during the month of February 2009. When March came, I was a NEW person. BRAND NEW!! What was on the INSIDE was now starting to be reflected on the OUTSIDE. I had to do a 180 (turning in the opposite direction of my pain and problems) to do a 360 (coming full circle to understand that my life is great and the best is yet to come).
I will continue this series in future blogs. I have so much more about me that I want to share and need to share. I will leave you with a poem I wrote in April of 2010 that captures all that I went through to become the man I am today. It is entitled:
February 09 a caterpillar went missing
Worn, busted and disgusted...tired of just existing.
Had to be alone with God so that He could reveal
all my hurts on the inside. It was time to heal.
Time to let go of all the pain that I've traveled with all these years.
All the hurt, all the fear, all the doubt, all the tears.
Time for a new man to emerge with purpose and drive;
with new determination and a new fire inside.
Time to stop dressing up the OUTSIDE to make my inside SEEM cool,
realizing I have been living my life backwards. What a fool. What a fool!
Cuz you see change, REAL CHANGE is from the INSIDE OUT.
Change your heart and your body follows. That's what I'm shouting about.
See, you haven't walked not one mile in my worn out shoes
nor lived one damn moment of my blues.
And you haven't sung not one note of my song...
It's by God's grace and His mercy that I've made it this long.
So I entered my Chrysalis and for28 straight days I let God shape my being
I was truly AMAZED.
Good bye to old hurts. Good bye to old pain.
Good bye to old friends.
Good bye to my old name.
No longer will this caterpillar walk with his head hanging down
just trying to survive scurrying aimlessly on the ground.
28 days of Revelation, 28 days of Reflection,
28 days of Meditation, 28 days of Introspection.
28 days that felt like 28 years, but on the 28th day a beam of light appeared.
With new strength and determination, I push and I twist.
I discover something miraculous is happening as I emerge from my Chrysalis.
I am not the same person I was when I went in.
Something is very different and I feel it WITHIN.
Alvin Fowlkes, the caterpillar that went into hiding had to DIE,
now I emerge ALVIN FOWLKES, the MONARCH BETTERFLY.
I am now a MONARCH. That means I reign SUPREME.
And I am AWESOME, I crush my haters like a Jelly bean.
I was kinda fly before, but I'm a BETTER FLY now
because now I know who I am and ain't no stopping me now.
I have no peers...yes that means I'm PEERLESS!
I have no fears....but I wouldn't say that I'm FEARLESS,
but I do FEAR LESS than I did before. My fear now motivates me to do SO MUCH MORE!!!
I have the heart of a lion and the strength of 100 men
and the courage of those same 100 times 10.
Yes, I am a BETTERFLY...better than before
and with these wings I BETTER FLY cuz God's got so much in store.
And I am ready for it all so I am about to take flight.
There no need to be afraid. I am headed toward the light.
And when I fly, I fly high....higher than anything can.
Higher than any bird, any plane, ANY man!
See when you fly this high, you don't have to look around.
When you the dopest thing in the sky, there is no need to look down.
So now just look up and you will see me streaking across the sky
into the bright sunlight....ALVIN FOWLKES, THE MONARCH BETTERFLY!!!!
Until next time….SHARPEN YOUR EDGE and your life will NEVER be DULL!
The Sharp One