I keep a photo of myself from before the abuse. I have hands on hips and this cocky, I can take on the world, look on my face.
I keep it to remember the man that boy deserves to be. I know I'm far from what he hoped.
But I can try, a little bit each day, to do something to be more like that man.
I remembered that when you talked about the ideal, awesome man that you would be.
I remember a sculptor saying that he doesn't start working on a new sculpture until he can see that image inside of the rock, then he just chips away all the rock that isn't that image.
On the good days, that's what I do, try and chip away at the block that I am to be a little bit more the man I want to be.
On the bad days, and man today is a bad day, I chip away at them anyway. Because the guy who fights when he can't see victory, but still doesn't give up, is another kind of hero.
I don't have a magic wand. And I feel you about who we are versus who we wish we were. It's like that man is in color and this man is black-and-white. Gray-scale me.
But I can't be erased without hurting people who care about me. So I have to try and work towards remaking that man in black and white. Maybe here and there a little bit of color.
But Jude is exactly right. Screw what the world says about us. They weren't there. They don't know. That's why I'm glad there are places like this, for when we're low and out of gas.
Hang in there!
We are not defined by our faults, or our wounds, but by the truth within us, which nothing can take away.