Who Are You Wednesday?: What I Believe

Every Wednesday, I am going to focus on learning to uncover who you are. My journey into authenticity began with me figuring out what I believe. The core of who we are is in our values, our beliefs, and our truths.

Entering into recovery, I remember not knowing who I was, and that scared me out of full commitment to the process. I knew that I had to start somewhere if I wanted to fully heal so I began with the one thing I knew remained consistent through the sixteen years of struggle; my heart. I knew that despite all that happened, my essence and the thing that held all my beliefs and hopes was still the same. Knowing that, I composed a list of all the things that I believe in life. You will see in my list that nowhere in it is anything my past demons and struggles told me to write. Nowhere in this list is input from an eating disorder, depression, anxiety, or OCD. Every word is straight from the heart and mind of authentic Jenna. They are my words, my beliefs, myself in writing, and that is a beautiful thing that I take great pride in. So here is a part of the many pieces of Jenna. 

I believe you should never go to bed angry.

I believe you should never leave without telling someone you love them.

I believe your heart is the greatest compass in life you will ever find to direct your steps.

I believe music can be the greatest form of therapy.

I believe that crying is not a form of weakness. Since birth, it has been the sign that we are alive.

I believe home is where your heart is. Regardless of living in the perfect house or have everything you thought you wanted, it will always stay a house without your heart. Belonging comes from within.

I believe the greatest gift you could give another is unconditional acceptance.

I believe you cannot survive without hope.
I believe we place our happiness in other people's hands

I believe people are quick to point out flaws in others because they are afraid to admit they exist within them too.

I believe the quickest way to an ugly character is to judge and criticize others.

I believe hearts will forever be impractical until they are made to be unbreakable.

I believe one of the most precious sounds is that of a child laughing.

I believe that all things happen for a reason.

I believe in living with no regrets.

I believe beautiful people do not just happen. The most beautiful people are those who have known defeat, suffering, struggle, loss, and have found their way out to the other side. They have an attitude towards life and an appreciation for it that fills them with a sincerity and gentleness.

I believe that beauty magazines promote low self-esteem.

I believe true beauty is revealed in the dark if there is a light within. Anyone can shine in the sun.

I believe mistakes exist in order for us to grow but should never serve as an excuse to give up. They serve a purpose.

I believe that it is important you only do what you love. It turns just existing into living.

I believe that we come to understand that we have a limited time on earth, and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up so that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.

I believe your most attractive features are your heart and soul.

I believe the past can be revisited to see how far we have come but we are not intended to make a permanent residence there.

I believe that family and friends are worth more than money or gold.

I believe my struggles do not define me.

I believe the past holds the power to kill your future.

I believe sometimes one hug can be the most healing thing, a simple embrace to connect us to one another.

I believe cursing and arguing get you nowhere.

I believe words are more powerful to hurt someone than any physical act.

I believe I am still loved even when I am completely alone. 

I believe forgiveness is the key to your unhappiness.

I believe in love surviving death into eternity.

I believe what you give is what you get returned.

I believe you don't know what you've got until you say goodbye.

I believe the grass is greener where you water it.

I believe that unkind words spoken to me do not define me.

I believe I am not the weight of all my memories.

I believe in the things that I am afraid to see.

I believe in the lost possibilities you can’t see.

I believe that the darkness reminds us where light can be.

I believe my heart is still beating because there is so much more life in me.

I believe that tomorrow is stronger than yesterday.

I believe that my mind is the only thing standing in my way.

I believe that my scars will be transformed to beauty, the marks of a warrior.

I believe that today it's okay to be not okay.

I believe I have not let go because every sunset holds the promise of a better day.

I believe I have gone so deep in despair to be gifted the opportunity to pull others out.

I believe I have felt the pain of losing who I am to fully appreciate me when I am found.

I believe I have been given this life because I am strong enough to live it.

I believe I have survived to give others hope.

I believe I have a purpose beyond what I can imagine.

I believe my dreams are big but not impossible to come true.

I believe God is my Healer.

I believe this is not the end of me, this is the beginning.

Every day this list grows. With each experience in life, I find more pieces of myself being uncovered. I find more truths resting in my heart waiting to be revealed by situations I face, people I meet, challenges I overcome.  I look forward with uncontained excitement to the many more pieces of me going to be exposed in the days and months and years to come. I love always being a work in progress and knowing that Jenna has so much more to be revealed. It is my mission to love that girl with all of my heart. No matter what is discovered, I will accept her and embrace her and treat her like she is the most precious gift for every human being is. I truly believe that. We are all worthy of love and compassion regardless of the path we walk or the choices we make. I should be no exception. And neither should you. 

I encourage you as you embark on your quest to uncover your authentic self to compile your own unique list of what you believe. Make that the next step in self discovery. It may be your first or your second or your tenth on this journey. Wherever it falls, decide today to take it with bravery. No more hiding. No more denying your authentic self. No more shutting out the sound of your soul. No more silencing the voice of your heart. Let today be the day you decide to get to know the beautiful person you are. That soul wants to meet you again.

Love,light, and bravery, J.L.