“If you live for other people’s acceptance, you will die from their rejection.” – Unknown
Have you ever watched a younger person in a circle of their friends, like really got in-tuned to the dynamics of their conversation and observed them as they struggled to fit in, ascertain the “right” words to connect with their peers, or suddenly became tremendously insecure (to the eyes of an adult) with who they are? Of course it happens to us all, but it begins here, at the stage when we are still discovering who we are, why we exist and learning what our lives are all about.
As we fast forward this scenario, some of us (as adults) continue to live in that place where we are still struggling with who we are, what are lives are all about and how we fit into the larger scheme of our world and network of people we embracew as family and friends.
I honestly don’t see this as phenomenon or strange thing. I believe it is more common than we care to know or admit, because although we continue to make great strides in the area of technology and information dissemination, we continue to lag in genuine human connection, authentic transparency and real honesty with those we profess to love or want to know better.
Somewhere deep inside ourselves, I believe we carry a doubt (like a mantle) about who we are and endlessly wonder if we are enough. Enough for what confronts are life today, enough to make the right decisions when it means the most and more importantly, enough to stay true to who we are in the midst of resistance and pressure. Considering the overwhelming amount of self-skepticism we tend to suppress, it’s not surprising that we allow this attitude to perpetuate, and at times define the lives that we live.
I’m not sure if it’s a coming of age thing, getting wiser as I get older or a combination of the two plus more, but I choose to no longer live for others; how they feel about me or what they feel about me is no longer a concern. I can only be me and I strive to always be the best me. Sometimes I fall short of my own desired goals, but quitting on myself is never an option. Those who don’t truly know my story or care to know, can easily fall into the category of critics, naysayers or finger pointers.
We have to understand that this group will always exist and in some cases we must understand, that even they come to teach us lessons, if we dare to become a student in the class of misunderstandings. It’s not to convince them of our truths, but to realize them for ourselves with absolute conviction, and to lead a life that affirms such.
A life that may at times feel inundated with discrediting judgement, self-doubt and daunting disappointment, but nonetheless we must keep pressing, keep believing and keep trusting in the higher call for our lives. A call that directs us to our ultimate purpose and destiny if we allow it to.
After spending a significant time of my life attempting to be recognized for things that probably weren’t that significant, I have finally come to the place where I realize that being “just me” is just fine and no one can actually do it better.