Always be yourself

September 1, 2015

always be yrself
Not too long ago, a friend referred me to a book she’d read. This is what she said:

The writer makes me think of you.
It’s a woman who decides to go for it, in a big way; to be herself and the hell with anybody who doesn’t like it.

I have to admit, I hear some version of this more often than most people –have for my entire life– and, while I take it as high praise,  it always puzzles me.

Here’s the truth: I can’t be anyone BUT myself.

As Popeye once said, I yam what I yam.

What surprises me, though, is that people remark on it as though it is unusual.

That part about “the hell with anybody who doesn’t like it” in real life isn’t quite as reckless as it sounds.  I quite understand that people judge, we all judge, but I also get that we live in a world of chocolate or vanilla. Some people like chocolate, some like vanilla, and if someone doesn’t care for my flavor, well, it’s still all good, as far as I am concerned. I might wish it were different, but I wouldn’t send them to hell because of it.

I don’t feel particularly original, either.

Well, ok.

Now that I see the words on the screen I realize that I DO feel original.  We’re all original! I can think of each friend of mine and see the original beauty that s/he possesses.

M. and I have had some long discussions on the subject of “always be yourself” recently.  We get that some people don’t feel they can be themselves for fear of disapproval, rejection, judgment and bigotry. These things are very real.

But by being ourselves, speaking our truths and letting others know that it’s perfectly ok to be who they are, we can begin to knock down those walls that prevent authenticity. We can model the idea that the world doesn’t come to an end if someone doesn’t like you.

As the saying goes, Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.

14 comments on “Always be yourself
  1. Brooke Flake says:

    I actually agree with those who commend you for being yourself. The older I get an especially within my Christian community it seems like everyone is always putting on a perfect facade. I’d rather see the real person, flaws and all, any day!

  2. Haralee says:

    I love that last saying! It is easier for some people than others and down right scary for some to be authentically true to themselves.

  3. I totally ‘get’ the whole thing about not being able to be anything BUT yourself (me too), HOWEVER, I have watched my mother change her entire personality to fit with each of her husbands. She was like a chameleon. She still does it- that shape-shifting thing, depending on who’s in the room. And when she’s alone, with just me (for instance) she’s exhausted and mean. Strange. I wonder if I ever saw the ‘real’ her? I wonder if she even knows who her ‘true’ self is. Interesting….

  4. Jennifer says:

    Easier said than done for many who worry about being accepted, or judged as lacking. I think many peole “beige themselves out” to smooth any waves the real they, may make.

  5. karla says:

    Be yourself, everyone else is taken! I love that. Often, we try to please everyone then life becomes too tiring just pleasing people. Be yourself, you’ll be surprised, life will be easier 🙂

  6. chrissie says:

    I love this post and can relate to many of the comments, I fear for the young who seem to have to live up to such high unrealistic standards for the sake of trying to be perfect.

  7. Tammy says:

    Being ourselves has always been easy for me. In the early years, when I tried to morph to fit in, it was an epic fail on all counts (think high school). It’s way too much work to be anyone other than ourselves. The world embraces originals. And that is something that we all have in common…originality. Viva la difference!

  8. Quin B says:

    I couldn’t agree more. It’s taken some time to get to a place where I’m okay with being me. Now that I’m here, I wouldn’t change one thing about my journey.

  9. Roz Warren says:

    I’m guessing that the underlying message of “Be Yourself!” is “Don’t be such a people-pleaser that you lose track of what YOU need?” For better or worse, this has never been my problem.

  10. Being yourself is not always so easy for people. They want to get along, have friends no matter the personal cost and be generally accepted. Being yourself sometimes also takes some soul-searching. But it does feel so damn good!!!

  11. Liz Mays says:

    It’s very easy to get caught in the trap of being what you think others want you to be. That’s too much work though!

  12. Jonathan Key says:

    Learn to love yourself. Accept yourself for who you are. What a great quote!

  13. Nora says:

    One of the things I love about your writing is that, in addition to telling truths, you always add some humor. Love the last line, Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.

  14. Thanks, Carol, for another great post. Like you, I’m one of those people who can’t be anything but herself, and I’ve gotten plenty of grief for it. It’s taken me a long time to find a place where I can be myself without being ostracized, put down, or worse, smiled at then stabbed in the back. I have family members who won’t talk to me because they can’t control who I am. I have trust issues coming out my ears. But I am slowly learning to trust and be open again. It’s a process, but one that’s worth working on.

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