Wow, in therapy the last few weeks I have had some remarkable insights! I'll have to write about more of them in later posts, but this one has to be fully devoted to the biggest discovery of all. Let me first tell you a little about how I came to this conclusion.
First of all, I was fasting on Sunday, September 25. I did things right this time and actually went upstairs to my room, got on my knees and prayed fervently for all of the things that I had been fasting for. While I was praying, I suddenly said out loud, "I hate the TBI Father, but I love me!" Woah, woah, woah, WHAT? "Wait a second, I don't think that's true, at least not yet, but with your help, I would like to be able to separate the TBI from myself, who I, Shannon L Blackham truly am, and learn to love who I am." Say what??? I couldn't believe myself. I haven't said anything even close to that in almost 6.5 years. I have hated everything about me since May 12, 2010. But I was finally beginning to recognize that the person that I idolize and wish I still was (me pre-TBI) is still inside of me. Yes, all too often it gets smothered by the TBI, but it's still inside. If I can distinguish the difference, then I can again love me. That's part one.
Part two shows: once again that the Lord is in EVERY single corner of our lives. I went to institute the next day. (Yes, I'm actually taking institute this semester; so, again, say what?) In institute we were discussing Matthew chapter 4. In this chapter Christ is being tempted by the devil. The class was considering why Christ was able to stay so strong and never gave in to any of the adversary's temptations. We concluded that it was because He knew who He was (and is) and He was true to it. But how the Lord is in every aspect of our lives is how it all ties together, which is where I'm getting to next.
In therapy then, I was talking about praying and how hard some of these things are. And suddenly it hit me. It hit me like 354 semi-trucks crushing me against a cement wall. So I had to write it down, immediately. "If I learn to LOVE myself, I can withstand anything and everything! If I separate myself from the TBI and love myself I can do exactly what I came back to life to do!! I can overcome any trial that comes my way." I can represent the Savior, I can be that very beacon of light and strength. I can defeat Satan when I truly know who I am, and I love that person. This is not something specific to me. This is something that can extend to everyone on this Earth. Everyone has access to this power because like me, you chose to come to this Earth. You chose to show your faithfulness to the Savior because you, too, wanted the freedom to choose. You are a child of God and God doesn't make mistakes. You are a priceless gift to this world.
So, love who you are. My new life motto is "Love Yourself!" Because with this statement, you can do anything. You can beat all odds and withstand any trial or temptation. Of course, there is a difference in loving who you are and loving what you are. What I mean by this is love the person you are eternally, love your characteristics, love the person you will always be. Loving what you are is loving things you can do, things that you have, what you look like, etc. These are not who you are, and these cannot provide the same kind of strength. Learn who you truly are, learn what makes you the person you are and why. Learn how you came to the standard of person that you are, and believe in yourself. Look in the mirror and see power, see purity, see the will and the drive to face another day, see who you are, who God made you, and say to yourself, I LOVE ME!