I have different views of who I think I am. If I go back to grade school, I can still hear some of the kids who were mean to me, the girls who were cruel to me in middle school, and the kids that talked behind my back in high school. If I allow those feelings and words to drive me, I will be what I think they think of me. It took me years to get those thoughts and feelings under control. I went through life hating my nose for instance. I was always told it was too big and it made me ugly. Kids can be cruel and kids also can say things that are mean maybe because they feel bad about themselves. We just don’t know what is going on in their head and therefore, we can’t allow it to rule our heads either. You are not who you think other people think you are. One freedom I have found in my 40’s is, I can be the person I want to be. I had a boyfriend tell me in the last year that if another guy saw me naked, he would never call me again. Those words hurt, however, as I looked at the person saying it, I wondered if that was true, why did he want to stay with me. Of course, we are no longer together. Saying mean things to others and putting them down is a true measure of how that person views themselves. Either that, or they are just trying to control you by trying to take your self-esteem away. In any case, don’t allow it to define you. Who are you? More importantly, who are you to yourself. I got dressed up yesterday and took myself out on a date with myself. It may sound strange but if I do not value myself, why should anyone else? Love yourself truly. That is the most freeing feeling. Accepting yourself completely is what love really is. You don’t need anyone to make you whole. A life partner should add not take away. You are whole already. Make deeper connections.