The Great Awakening This Emotional Life - PBS

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   Troy Roness

Troy Roness's Bio

Troy is a twenty-three year old male exercise/eating disorder survivor and advocate originally from Crosby, ND.

The Great Awakening


EDITOR’S NOTE: This is an updated entry. The original version failed to include sufficient citation. We apologize for the mistake.

“We need to find the courage to say 'no' to the things and people that are not serving us if we want to rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity.” - Barbara De Angelis

Making the most of your time can seem daunting when you don’t even know who you are. I’ve abided by rules, regulations and rigid convictions since I can remember. It’s taken nearly quarter of a century to BEGIN my life and open my eyes to the many, many ventures that have been present the entire time.

Your own level of self-acceptance is determined largely by how well you feel you are accepted by the important people in your life. I’ve never thought the people in my life really knew me or embraced the quirks that shape who I am, even as I write this entry. Those quirks that craft who I am are what I’ve been so afraid of them understanding. Until now…

I’d like to think that I have changed my perception of life and grown in as many ways as possible. While I know that grasping my faith and trusting that I don’t have to do it alone is tremendous in fighting the enemy; there’s also been a gradual transition from self-loathing to self-acceptance that’s formed over me and has really rooted itself in recent weeks.  This period of my life and all of my past experiences (good or bad) have helped develop a lesson that’s inspired me in moving forward. Looking back on the views and standpoints I so stubbornly took; I now appreciate the many, many observations given from those around me. Because of my illness, because of the need to ask for help and at last reaching that eventual breaking point; I was finally willing to open my mind, fear nothing and stay confident that every challenge could be met with a more progressive stance on healing. Strength can come from an intuitive ability to reach back into one’s own unconscious mind and draw fantastic insight. In my case, I had subconsciously let various events and thoughts formulate into an illness I am still battling to this day. Allowing myself to slowly die for someone else’s cause isn’t the choice I’m making anymore. I know that with my newfound openness to action; a newborn healing is definitely within my reach.

To build healthy individuality, you must involve the act of understanding yourself and your feelings. This is appreciating the not-so-simple act of self-disclosure. For you to truly understand yourself, or to stop being concerned by things that may influence others opinions of you, you ought to be able to disclose what your true beliefs are.

You learn to accept yourself for the person you are, even with the awesome traits and bad coping skills, with strengths and weaknesses and with the normal imperfections of any human being. This is exactly where your happiness can flourish. When you grow the ability to fix your eyes on yourself honestly and to candidly admit to yourself that you aren’t perfect but you’re all you’ve got, you can begin to benefit from a finely tuned sense of self-acceptance. Think about your future and the fact that your potential is practically unlimited. You can do what you want to do and go where you want to go. You can be the person YOU want to be.

Occurrences, whether first-class or horrific, are sometimes all we have, and most of them exist in the past. So, you may ask, why should I let go of who I thought I was when much of it is filled with what I am so familiar with? The answer lies in when you ask yourself, “When will it end?” The end will come and enough is enough when you decide that you ARE enough.

Playing the part of something that isn’t inherently engrained inside of you is detrimental to your well-being as a whole. So, not living our lives as we normally cannot be a crutch we utilize in exchange for a healthy future. These excuses fill our lives with procrastination; and that procrastination is a great way of postponing an improved future, devoid of the pessimistic self mentality.

If, for example, a series of raw experiences throughout your life, be it verbal or sexual abuse, trauma or illness; these “leg weights” always seem to haunt your ability to move forward. In turn, you subconsciously sabotage your well-being by not being yourself.

Getting rid of your “leg weights” may be the hardest thing you will try to do, but consider the cost of preserving their existence? A mind polluted with hurt is not only counterproductive, but can be dangerous, given the wrong person and situation. As my situation, and millions of others, proves.

Although letting go of all “the stuff” can be extremely helpful in your future, it cannot be emphasized enough that this process is just that, a process and cannot be done overnight. Working on and coming to terms with who you are can take years. As each self-defeating thought leaves your mind, you will not only be able to feel your “leg weights” become lighter, but you’ll be able to start moving more freely into your future.

Even with the identity of a high school clown, a jock or later a college graduate, living in a supportive community, traveling around the world expanding my horizons and teaching; I seemed to have everything anyone could wish for. In reality, however, I had nothing at all. I used to lie awake for hours at night, praying for further understanding of myself and why I am here. I’ve finally begun to comprehend I am much more to Him than I realize.

I was losing myself. In fact, I never really had myself. I was simply performing, thinking that life is about having a persona, a good illustration to groups around me and living by external standards. Only my awful internal thoughts, crying alone and self-hate were clear gauges that the ‘perfect’ life I led was actually pretty unpromising.

No, my troubles don’t stem from my parents, family or my friends’ influence throughout life. It’s a realization that an internal self-doubt was at root of my illness. Trying to be someone I’m not and trying to vie for the attention, gratification and approval of everyone above myself is exactly why I have gone through this journey. Am I angry or do I regret it? Never. In my previous entry, I explained that regrets aren’t always something you look at in a fogged light.

My self-discovery has led me to an important realization: Life is a journey of marvel.

We’re all conquerors.  The most important journey for all of us is to meet our true selves. Apart from external adversaries, the biggest criminal lies within. In my past I’ve told those that surround me, “It doesn’t matter what you think of me; because no one can hate me more than I already hate myself.” Finding our character and realizing our true potential is where true peace lies.

“You have to do this, you have to become that, you have to be better and work harder than others and you have to be like everyone else because you aren’t ‘good enough.’” Constantly hearing these false messages slowly leads us to venture on a path opposite to our true intention. Remember, realizing our full potential and finding our accurate self is the most incredible journey of life.