When you meet me, you may see a woman with a beautiful smile, a woman who is pretty, a woman who lights up a room with her energy…OR… you may see a woman that is “stuck-up”, a woman who thinks she is ‘ALL that’ & a bag of chips. Whatever your first impression of me is or anyone else that you see on the streets or get the opportunity to have a conversation with; is one that coincides with your current mindset, your current emotional state, and your current reflection of how you see yourself.
In 1902, an American Sociologist, Charles Horton Cooley, introduced his work Human Nature and the Social Order. It is described as our reflection of how we think we appear to others in 3 steps, better known as “the looking glass self”:
1) How one imagines one looks to other people
2) How one imagines the judgement of others based on how one thinks they view them
3) How one thinks of how the person views them based on their previous judgements
For me, Cooley’s work is valid as I know there were many moments in my life where I felt unseen, not valued, not respected, mistreated, and body shamed. And as I reflect on those moments in time, I realize today, at 49, that I walked, acted, reacted, held-back, and made poor hurtful decisions for myself and others based on not knowing that I was unconsciously ‘becoming’ what others viewed of me, didn’t say to me or how others made me feel about myself. In those moments, I was barely surviving waiting for others to come in to “save” me, to “validate” me, to “honor” me, to “love” me…. I unconsciously took ZERO ownership of ANY of it! And I had ZERO idea that this was happening to me and for me!
It was another late eve of living out ‘my best life’ living out my ‘college days’ that I never had, hanging out & dancing late nights to the wee hours of the am, finding love in all the wrong places, and literally living in the moments only where I ‘was in control of’ by being present in spaces that served me fulfillment in a multitude of ‘stolen moments of time’. As I walked into my studio apartment, I began to feel my knees weaken and an overwhelming rush of emotions take over every single aspect of myself and as I shut the front door behind me, I immediately collapsed to my knees in a fetal position bawling my eyes out. Who am I? How did I get here? What am I doing? What is happening to me? Where did
Mary Kim Farkas go?
When I finally found enough strength to pry myself off the floor and drag myself to the shower, is when I made the most impactful decision of my lifetime. Allowing myself to live in my current emotional state brought clarity as I reflected on my entire life of adversities, set-backs, challenges, and all the poor decisions I made in the last few years, including ALL the things I promised myself I’d NEVER do…. I decided in that moment, that I MUST find ME again. I did not know how. HOWEVER, I knew MY WHY!
And I made a promise to myself and was determined to never break another promise to myself again!
Nineteen years later, I have kept my promise!
I share this with all of you today to encourage you to find YOU! To know that NO MATTER WHAT adversities you’ve had to endure, what others never said to you, what others did to you – they DO NOT determine your value, worth or future! I am here today to tell you that Cooley’s theory is true, however, the notion of ‘this is just how life is’ is a FAÇADE, A COVER UP, A BAND-AID of allowing others to validate your existence. Trust & believe, that you have been verified the very second your creator created YOU!
It was the very second your fingerprint was developed! Your fingerprint is your blueprint! It is YOURS & NO ONE has one like YOURS! And NO ONE can take that away from YOU! In a world of 8 billion people – there is NO ONE like YOU! OWN YOUR FINGERPRINT!
I will leave you the 7 things I still practice today that saved myself from myself:
1) SELF-LOVE/AFFIRMATIONS: Owning EVERY aspect of yourself, the parts you love and the parts you don’t. Talk life into the dark parts to allow them to grow, remove the dark dirt and replace them with love. Create at least 7 affirmations to read daily, post on your bathroom mirror as reminders and read them every time you step into your bathroom!
2) COMPARISON: STOP comparing yourself to others in every aspect of life! STOP comparing your current self to your past self – remember you are beautifully & wonderfully made!
3) FORGIVENESS: Forgive yourself for the decisions you made that didn’t serve you well. Forgive others who deliberately harmed your soul on purpose or unintentionally. Forgive yourself for allowing others to harm your soul and spirit. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you accept the action. Forgiveness is not about the other person – IT IS ABOUT YOU! Let go of it all!
4) LIVE IN YOUR FEELINGS: When you want to cry your eyes out – cry! When you are mad – be mad! ALLOW your feelings to process in the moment in real time. Validate them, honor them. Stop apologizing for how you are feeling! Doing this will serve your health, mindset, & spirit best as it will heal and cleanse you every single time!
5) GRATITUDE: Be grateful. Practice gratitude every single day you wake up. Start with 3 things daily & write them down and increase it from there. Continue this mindset until you can see light in your darkest days. Thirty plus years of gratitude and I am a testament that you will get to a point where gratitude becomes a part of your DNA!
6) GRACE: Give yourself grace!!! ALWAYS!! In EVERY aspect of life!!! You are a human being, not a robot! No one is “perfect” 24/7, 365 days of the year – IMPOSSIBLE! Continue to be the best YOU. Show up as YOU. Do one thing daily better than yesterday. Know every day is a new beginning & every second is another opportunity toward becoming EVERYTHING your creator intended YOU to be! YOU deserve the grace you give to others freely!
7) GIVE OUT WHAT YOU WANT MOST IN YOUR LIFE: What are the 3 things in life you can’t live without? Take those 3 things and live your life giving them freely into the world/universe. Know the universe hears it and will return it all back to you ten-fold!
Trust me – it works!!
Mary Kim Farkas is a single mommy to her nine-year-old son, Desiderio with Down Syndrome. Desiderio is the light in her soul, the joy in her heart, and the inspiration behind her fight. Losing her birth parents at a young age did not deter her in believing that love can make the world go ‘round. Mary Kim is a champion of abuse by people she trusted as a child. Her drive, determination, and belief that this is not the way life is supposed to has allowed her to carry on because she had to. Growing up in an Italian American household instilled strong family values. The power of prayer in one’s life was learned at a very young age. It is the core reason why the power of faith is strongly rooted into her heart, soul, and purpose in life today.
Mary Kim Farkas’s gift is to see the light and the silver lining in any situation as she firmly believes tests become your testimony. What one may perceive these are scenarios to break you, Mary Kim thrives on knowing we are given these not to break us but build us to be the person God created us to be.
Mary Kim Farkas is living a purpose driven life with integrity to aspire and with intent. Sharing her testimonies of life to not only break generational curses, stigmas, and abuse, but mainly to let others know they are not alone and that they too can decide to become a champion despite the adversities they endured. Mary Kim is also passionate on advocating for her son’s Down Syndrome and Differently-abled community.
Follow Mary Kim Farkas on her quest to “Embracing Life Enriched with Joy”
“Living a Purpose Driven Life with Integrity to Aspire and with Intent