To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
What if you lived your whole life mastering the art of reading people to figure out what they need and then delivering that to them? You’re dependable. Capable. Strong. People like you because you have it all together and defer to their needs. After all, you figure, why not let the other people in your relationships have their preference on what to do, where to go, and all the other let little decisions that don’t mean as much to you? As long as they’re happy, you’re happy, right?
Except you aren’t. Because somewhere along the way you lost yourself. Or found you never knew yourself.
Authentic. We all want to be real – “true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character,” as Webster’s Dictionary defines it. But what happens when you aren’t connected with your own soul?
Part of daring to love greatly is loving yourself, and I have a hard time doing that because I’m not really sure of who I am after living four decades on this planet. Scary stuff. I paid attention to everyone’s else’s needs and ignored the small voice inside me. I’ll do me later, I thought, once I have everyone and everything else squared away. But of course that day never comes. Because everyone just wants more, and there’s always another path to go down to keep me busy and distracted so I don’t have to deal with the mess inside me.
But somehow, that small voice does break through and demands that you pay attention NOW. That you drop all the busy work you’ve been doing. That you pull away from friends, hobbies, or vices that were anesthetizing you, lulling you into a false sense of acceptance that this was all there was to life. That you stop living half-heartedly, thinking, Sure, it seems a bit futile and unfulfilling, but at least I’m not living in a war-torn country and starving to death.
But what if? What if being your authentic, whole-hearted self means you felt more alive, more grounded? What if you felt more joy, more gratitude, and more love, even when struggling through the hardest situations you’ve ever faced? What if you were brave enough to be who you were meant to be…that you fully embraced even the weird, unconventional, and obnoxious parts, and didn’t give a damn what others thought about that? Because you’re being you.
That’s loving greatly. It starts with YOU.
You’ve got to be really dialed into exactly who you are to the one hundredth power or you’re just everyone else. – Kanye West