“Everybody has a chapter they don’t read out loud.” – Unknown
Have you ever watched a group of children or your own play and talk amongst their friends? Watching them interact in their own environment and hearing the things they talk about when they are unaware you are listening in is not only entertaining, but often an eye opener to who they are becoming and what makes them afraid, not like in of the dark or of ghosts, but the fears of the soul.
Fears like self-doubt, not being strong enough, pretty enough or just different to what is perceived as acceptable. Even at those young, tender and impressionable stages we can identify what we allegedly lack to fit in society appropriately.
What is sad is these fears seldom change with age. We simply become better at disguising, deflecting and numbing the pain that is associated with them. We live our lives as normal as we can until things become too difficult to manage. At that point we only have a couple of options. One is to finally acknowledge the truth about what has troubled us and begin to deal with it and two is to continue to lie to ourselves and live a life of duplicity.
It would seem that telling the truth to at least ourselves would be the easier choice to make, but unfortunately it is not. One of the hardest things for any of us to do, is to admit a short coming, what maybe deemed as a flaw or what seems unacceptable to society and most importantly ourselves. None of us want to ever admit that there may be something about us that is different or lacking. We always have to present a strong disposition no matter what.
It is truly sad, but millions of dollars are spent each year to advertise to the world what is beautiful, strong, viral, acceptable, powerful and sexy. The images flood our brains before we even have an opportunity to really understand what they mean. We simply begin learning that we talk funny, our skin is not the right pigment, our hair is the wrong color or the texture is wrong. We are too short, over weight, our legs our too long. We read too slow, we are too hyper or we are just not smart enough. The list is endless.
We cannot help but to be bombarded by these images and ideas. They tell a story for our children to hear, see and accept as their own truth, so once they become young adults one of their sole purposes in life is about fitting in, changing to someone else and ridding themselves of the images and ideas that truly define who they are. It is like a predetermined method of self-destruction, but unfortunately in this case, they are ridding themselves of all the wonderful attributes and characteristics that make them who they are. The ones that make them unique, beautiful and wholesome.
So what if what society deems as a flaw is really the diamonds in the rough waiting to be discovered? What if we begin to teach our children what real beauty and strength looks like, inside and out, so that when those counterfeit images and people begin to test them, they already know who they are? We can empower them to detect the real from the counterfeit and not be deterred by false illusions of beauty and strength.
But the only way we will be able to accurately impart this type of lifestyle or hope to them is to first own it for ourselves. Here lies the test and the struggle. So many of us still carry the false illusions of what we are supposed to be. Deep down we realize the images do not fit within us, but we have forged our way through life carrying them like a sack of burdens that belong to us. Many of us have awkwardly walked through life afraid to expose the real us. The us that has not necessarily fit in with the status quo, the us that has accepted we are flawed and different.
So is it more awkward to be who you are (flawed and all) or be someone else? If you are not being who you were created to be, the world is missing out on the wonderful treasure that is uniquely you and we miss out on the rare beauty that is yours alone to share with the world.
There is no one quite like me, and I thank God for that. I am not better or worse than anyone else, but I am uniquely me. How about you? Sure there are things about myself I want to change, and I will continue to work on those things over the course of my life, but I will not fit in to make others happy. I lived that life before and was never at peace, but today I am.
We live in a world that will quickly identify how we do not fit in or are different, and if we accept that identity as our own we will pursue a life filling voids that really do not belong to us, and therefore add unnecessary weight/bondage to our once simple and fulfilled lives. Today I encourage you tell someone else that they are not flawed, but accepted and whole, and if they only see themselves as flawed, identify their beauty and strength by sharing a few encouraging words with them about the alleged flaw they insist is theirs. Help them see past the lies and poor images poured into them over the years and give them hope to see their flaws as marks of uniqueness, wholeness and a way to reach their world their way.