In spite of youth, I always believed in the notion that being true to oneself is vastly more important than fitting in. I suppose I had more time to sit with the idea in contemplation, having been somewhat on the outskirts of my peer group back then. I was an athlete, and awkward in some ways… I was incredibly shy in most cases, and my mind was not on the same social things my peers were into – going “out” meant running to the health food store for a bagel and protein in between sessions on the ice!
Maybe it was in my solitude that I recognized how vital it was to stay true to who I was because there was no one to contradict me – regardless of the loneliness I might have felt in being left out of “the scene” the concept of conforming was one I couldn’t get my head around. I couldn’t pretend or lie had I wanted to – to do so felt ,even in childhood, like a betrayal to my own body and soul (I’m not sure I could have verbalized it back then, but then again Empaths sometimes have alexithymia!)
“To be what I term a ‘quality’ human being one has to be transparently real and have the courage to be what he is.”
I’d “feel” when other people were trying to mold themselves to match their surroundings. I’d “feel” the discomfort they harbored, and the uncertainty preempting each action. It troubled me.
The road to being oneself, unabashedly, is far from an easy one. There are circumstances in which we must “tone down” or not fully disclose (work environments, for example, or around sensitive friends of friends, simply out of respect or courtesy.) Humans are social, and society matters – it is how we make our livings, gather those items we need to live… Our interpersonal relationships are important – we want to build and nourish healthy, happy ones, after all. But for that reason, we must be ourselves…because one cannot sustain a lasting relationship without the transparency.
How exhausting would it be to live under a false pretense?! I’ve known people who do, and it breaks my heart to think how much work it is trying to trace steps, remember “events”…forget the tragedy of it (or that it all causes!)
And what of the realization that others like us for someone we are not?!
To diverge utterly from who we are is, in my personal opinion, an absolute sin (keep in mind, there is no religious connotation to this word here – simply, I mean it is an injustice to oneself.)
We are all beautiful, deserving of love, and Life, and health. We all make mistakes, because human beings are flawed and fragile. I am, not unlike many, terribly hard on myself sometimes – I believe we are our own worst enemies at the end of the day. I might reflect – which I do daily – about how I might have better handled a situation, or what I *should* have said in another. But I will not do the injustice of telling myself I need be more “fake” so that I blend in. Neither should you.
To me, bravery is being able to cry when we need to.
Courage is to accept help when we need to.
Strength is to be who we are…because we NEED to.
To be real in a World of falsity is something to be proud of – it affords us the gift of inspiring others, for one thing. Bruce Lee certainly did a brilliant job of that…and if anyone was himself unabashedly…
So be YOU.