Saturday, September 15, 2012

Day 259: Finding Your Truth

There are hills and valleys, some dry places
but it's all beautiful

Finding Your Truth

I was a fat kid. I was teased and made fun of; and just writing this makes me wonder where the fun was. I guess it was fun for those who used me as a scapegoat for their issues; but we all know how those things turn out. When you scapegoat your problems onto someone else, they come back to you in another form; one more dangerous than before.

Anyway, I was telling you that I was fat. I didn’t feel good about myself because of the teasing and taunting that came with it. An older woman gave me some great advice; she didn’t realize it, because the truth be told, she was a part of the problem.

We all have these ideas about an idea body. When our own falls short; and by the way, it always will because it’s someone else’ idea and not your own body’s, we tend to put our insecurities onto others. Well, I had been crying about yet another teasing incident and expected the woman to tell her niece and daughter to stop teasing me. Instead she said, “If you lose weight no one will tease you.” I stopped crying and actually asked this grown-up what she had said. She repeated and then added; “You can’t change the way they think, but you can change the way you look.”

With that I had my answer; I could not change the way they thought, but I could change the way I thought and felt about my own self. I was all of 13 years old and I decided that I could change me. I began to learn what it meant to be healthy in spirit mind and body and I began to think about all the good that I had going for me.

This week, I had a very hectic travel schedule, in less than 24 hours, I had been on 5 flights, had been in 6 cities and had clocked over 10,000 miles.

Someone asked how I was doing and I said, “Tired and happy.”

Years ago, I would have allowed someone to tell me how I should feel about how much I was doing. I’d listen to them tell me that I should be tired; that my work was not appreciated, that I should stay home. But that’s not the way I feel it.

I love what I do and I love that I travel to get there. Yes, I am often bothered by other weary travelers who don’t know the space boundaries or how loudly they are talking on a cell phone. I am bothered by the weight of my laptop and the early hours I must keep. But none of that compares to the joy I have from living a life of purpose.

Here’s the thing, no one should be able to tell you your truth. You must know it for yourself. You must know that you are a beautiful being, living a life of purpose, one that you love and are proud of.

I got home to a family who loves me and I love them. My kids told me all about Oedipus and computer codes and I was rewarded with the deep cleaning skills of my quiet and tired sister Christine. I walked past a mirror and I saw my truth; and it smiled back at me.

Don’t let others tell you how to think, find your own truth and think it for yourself.

Be you, be well, be happy.
Bertice Berry, PhD.


  1. “Your beliefs become your thoughts,
    Your thoughts become your words,
    Your words become your actions,
    Your actions become your habits,
    Your habits become your values,
    Your values become your destiny.”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi

  2. I was at your talk in Vail yesterday, 9-14-12. I was the woman in the second row crying her eyes out during your entire talk. There are two reasons I've recognized for my tears. 1: I also had a mom I adored and took care of and loved with an outrageous love during her life and the last of her life. I related so deeply to all of your loving words. 2: I love everything our small, community healthcare system represents. We first and foremost take excellent, loving care of our patients. Listening to you was such a breath of fresh air. We are bombarded daily with regulations and demands and the occasional patient complaint. To hear you speak with such love and gratitude for what we do was overwhelming. Thank you for the gift you gave me as you spoke. May God continue to bless all of your days, and those of your family. Ginny Hallagin

  3. On Thursday evening, after hearing you speak at the NG Women's Conference, I headed to the airport to get a rental car and then drive to Virginia to visit friends. I was exhausted and the wait at the rental car counter seemed endless. As I spoke to the gentleman next to me and complained about the wait, I glanced toward the rear of the line and saw a man with no arms and only a small deformed hand off his left shoulder. I watched as he took off his shoes and one of his socks and with his foot removed his wallet from the canvas satchel he had on a small cart that he pushed with his feet. With his right foot, he opened the wallet, removed various cards and then knelt on the ground to lift them to his deformed hand and dropped them in his left breast pocket. At that moment I realized how fortunate I am. I have arms and what took that man 5 minutes to do, I did in seconds. Your lecture sprang to my mind, that I could choose to be happy. I plan to keep a daily reminder of that man. Thank you. Without your lecture, I'm not sure that man's struggle would have had such a profound effect on my life.
    Carrie Luecke

    1. Your comments are so beautiful that I used them for Day 260.
      Thank you and all of you who keep on keeping on being happy