Change Starts Today

At some point you really have to say:

“This is who I am. Take me as I am–or leave.”

We cannot control what other people think of us.

I’m learning this lesson now.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what people think of us. Seeking their approval is a no-win game.

Thinking you know what another person thinks about you is circular failed logic.

In effect, you’re judging that person without knowing the truth.

As a mental health peer I realize that holding so-called normal people up as valid arbiters of our worth is a form of internalizing the stigma.

Holding anyone else up as a judge in terms of how they view us is also not healthy.

We need to like ourselves first of all and in turn have compassion for other people.

Each of us living on earth is doing the best we can with what we were given.

Change starts today. Often if we want to change our lives we first have to change our minds.

I’ll be 53 in April–in just over 5 months. This is what I’ve learned so far:

Judging people isn’t the way to go. Stereotyping people isn’t the way to go.

The way to go is to understand that those of us living with mental health challenges are worthy friends, lovers, and support folk.

I for one have gotten over thinking that having a so-called normal guy as a boyfriend is the way to go. I’ve given up for good trawling OKCupid for a mate.

I don’t expect anyone who doesn’t have a mental health challenge to truly understand.

We need to seek love companionship and empathy from people who are able to give it.

We can’t expect to change the hearts and minds of people who are stones in how they treat others.

It would be great if people would come to their senses and treat everyone they meet with love.

While we wait for this to happen we can help make it happen by acting on our own to model compassionate behavior.

The older I get I’m trying to make a difference in the world.

I call this ethic placing “service above self.”

Acting with love will show others the benefit of acting with love.

One thing I know: people can change as their circumstances change.

People can become more loving and generous towards other people.

I’ve seen that this is true. It’s entirely possible for another person to wake up.

Change starts today. It starts today for all of us.

We have only today in which to make a difference.

God has given us this day. Let’s use it wisely and for the benefit of everyone.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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