Lessons from Tafolla Toro
By Sarah R. Guerrero
This past week I had the honor and privilege of talking to Lorenzo Gomez III.
Lorenzo Gomez is a San Antonio native, public speaker, and published author. He is definitely a trailblazer through his advocacy for mental health and sharing your story.
Telling Your Story
One of the most important things that I heard Lorenzo say was that everyone has a story. I think now, more than ever, it is important to be open to sharing experiences. In a world that seems so disconnected in distance, storytelling is the outlet that brings people together. He declares that we’re wired as humans to tell stories and that it’s something that we shouldn’t be afraid of doing. The steps that we take today are the one’s that will help those that come after us.
Lies We Tell Ourselves
Lorenzo is a firm believer in this. It’s not only important to tell your story, but to tell the right story, the one that’s true. Lorenzo describes events that happened in his life, like the one’s in his book, Tafolla Toro: Three Years of Fear. He compares the little lies that we tell ourselves to a brick wall.
“I put one brick on top of another. And soon, I have this massive wall of bricks blocking me from all of the dreams and hopes that I have in my life.”
This means that we have to change the narrative that we invent for ourselves to one that is positive.
A Guide to Better Mental Health
While life can be difficult, that doesn’t mean that we should neglect our needs. We need to find ways to take care of ourselves. Lorenzo shares the methods that worked for him in terms of mental health. He says that it’s the same as training.
“You would never make fun of an NBA player for hiring a coach to tell him with his three-point shooting… it’s the same thing with mental health.”
What makes Lorenzo Gomez so great is how willing he is to share. He knows what’s like to live in fear, but he has overcome it. As a student, it makes me happy to know that there are other people that are going through the same things that I am. Even when things may seem bleak, there is always a way out. It’s okay to talk about your feelings and to be authentically you. We matter and our stories matter!
Click on the video to see our discussion. If you haven’t read Tafolla Toro, I encourage you, do it! Take that first step in being the best you.
Be sure to check out Lorenzo Gomez at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center February 19th.