I’ve been asked this question before. I always gave the generic answer of my tangible accomplishments like having 2 masters degrees or staying fit and healthy. Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of these and many other things I’ve done and will do in my life’s journey. But the one thing I will always take pride in: Being Human.
It took me 21 years to invite people into my life and voice I was gay. It took 23 years to admit to someone other than my therapist that I tackle depression and anxiety on a daily basis. I could not find the words to voice the abuse I experienced at the age of 8. I finally was able to say “I’m a Survivor” after I turned 27. Oh, I also failed out of a Ph.D program. That was a punch in the gut after 3 years of work.
Yeah so I’ve been though some things that rattled my bones, tore me apart, and made me questions my self-worth. But I’ve also done some things: 2 masters degrees, working on an Ed.D in Leadership, a college teacher, a coach. I am a mental coach. I’m proud of all those things and will always be proud.
But when I shared my human story, I showed that I had broken pieces that I had no idea how to piece together. I have misplaced or lost pieces to my puzzle. Got some extra pieces that just don’t fit just yet. When I took pride in the fact that I’m human and can be broken but happy. I found joy. I found strength. I found my purpose in this world.
I have a life mantra: Om Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu. May all beings be happy and free. It’s a mantra I try to live in all my relationships in that I do not intentionally harm another individual. It’s included in my teaching and consulting philosophy. It’s a journey and a way of being. It is being human.
I struggle. I have broken down. I’ve been in dark places. I’ve lost people. I’ve struggled with my sexuality. I’ve questioned my abilities. But through it all, I’ve taken pride in the fact that I’m human. I can be the best version of myself. I can share my story and take pride in being human.
This story was submitted by Bernie!