“Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the kings horse’s and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty back together again.”
Humpty Dumpty is my first claim to stardom. In a dress that my mother made me wear (and I have been tearing my house up looking for the picture), at the age of four, I am probably the only Humpty Dumpty in history who had to fall off a wall with their legs crossed. 🙂 (I REALLY didn’t want to wear that dress but I digress.) And yet, as I approach my 36th birthday in less than two weeks, I realize that perhaps I fell off the wall and stayed broken because I could only see one side of it. No one could put me back together because until I BELIEVED there was another side, I was paralyzed. I mentally began to put the pieces together, figure out what went there and how I fell in the first place and then I did something that I never thought I’d do.
I tore the wall down completely.
What wall? The one that kept me from being my greatest self. And the bricks, over the years, have varied but were labeled something like this:
You’re from the projects. You’re really not THAT smart. You’ve never had formal dance training. You STILL have all of those stretch marks. You’re dark-skinned. You’re too fat. You have a lisp. You don’t have enough money. He cheated on you. Why is YOUR child the one in trouble? You’re too short. You’re too ghetto. You talk too much. You don’t speak up enough. He chose her not you. Your baby died because YOU did something. You’re not athletic. You’re not one of the pretty girls. Your butt is too big. You’re anorexic. Your sister is better than you. You really do need to be on some medicine. You just aren’t enough.
Every time I found myself moving forward in my life and I got to even the smallest barrier, I felt myself being hit in the head with a brick. I could not get past all of the things I “thought” I was or used to be. I only had to do one thing: tell the truth. I was raised in the Robert Taylor Housing Projects on Chicago’s South Side. And? If anything, it made me better, not worse. Yet, I found myself “defaulting” to that brick a lot and the only reason I could really get from underneath that was I felt “unworthy” because the “projects” have such a negative connotation in society. If you look at my “wall”, that feeling of “unworthiness” carries through MOST of my bricks if not ALL. I kept finding ways to label myself as “unworthy”. If I would label MYSELF as such, imagine how I allowed others to treat and label me. I drew in the energy that I was giving off.
When the bricks came tumbling down, I was surprised at who I found. When I was a child, even a teenager, even in my twenties, I never once thought I was beautiful. I never had anything positive to say about myself at all. I realize this is how my weight really came to the forefront as an issue. I have always eaten healthy food but I ate really fast and overindulged in ANYTHING I enjoyed (food, relationships, whatever). When I stopped dancing five hours a day, the weight caught up with me and I never dealt with the internal issues of low self-worth. Even now, I can tell you, the first time I feel sad, I see visions of cupcakes dancing in my head. Each time I felt a brick, I took a bite. In order to stop relating the two, I had to get rid of the wall, not replace the cupcake with an apple. (That would not be getting rid of the problem. That is a temporary solution to a long term issue.)
What are your bricks? Can you imagine what life is like on the other side of the wall? When the bricks are standing at your feet and you are dancing to some Michael Jackson in all of your beautfulness, what will you feel like? What would it feel like when you aren’t tied to food because it’s your own defense to shield you from flying bricks?
And what could you do with the energy you’d save from not having to hide behind who you thought you were?
If Humpty Dumpty (with a dress) could put her pieces back together again, so can you. 🙂