I recently mentioned to someone that something that I valued about myself was that I was extremely intelligent (toot toot)
She commented, “well, you always knew that.”
“Not true!” I replied. I actually did not always believe that. I practically failed high school besides for 12th grade, recently failed a board exam, am ADHD so struggle tremendously focusing and keeping still, have difficulty recalling words, am horrendous at facial recognition and probably have an undiagnosed learning disability
She mused “I think you always knew deep down that you were really intelligent, but you just never truly believed it.”
Intelligence is not just an IQ score, it’s not just the ability to study and focus and recall. It’s the ability to integrate knowledge with all of life’s lessons and experiences. It’s the ability to acquire new knowledge and learn from ones past, hence I am intelligent.
Over the last couple of months I have worked really really hard to quiet the internal negative beliefs that I have had about myself. The beliefs that told me that I was not beautiful, not intelligent, don’t measure up to others, that I had no talents and that I could never ever express myself through writing.
I busted most of these beliefs and now have a more wholesome and real view of myself. I still sometimes doubt myself, especially believing that I’m a good mother. Perhaps because I have always given more value the end results and not the entire process. I forget that children, just like me, are a constant work in progress, and my boys are only little men in the training. A day of tantrums, mess and poop splattered bathrooms does not define me as a person and as a mother.
At the end of the day I might beat myself up and ask why I did not engage with the children more, connect more, meet their emotional and physical needs more and be the best mom for these kids. Another voice, usually an exhausted beat up one will try come to the rescue and try soothe my worries “you did your best with them, they are not the easiest kids on the block, they have their own stuff they need to work on, not everyone can be pleased and maybe you were tired/stressed/overwhelmed. They will turn out ok and tomorrow’s another day.”
My strength is using my intelligence to choose which voice to value and listen to more. Which voice is irrationally unrealistic? Which one empowers me? Which one beats me down?
Can I do better? Of course! But I am work in progress and the day is not over yet.