Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I'm Not Really That Bad, Am I?

It's taken me a lot of years to figure this one out, but I've about decided I'm okay just the way I am. Don't get me wrong, we can all use a little tweaking here and there, but I'm talking about the underlying principles and personality traits that make us what we are.

We spend way too much time trying to please others and fit within the social guidelines that others love to set for us.It started for me way back in grammar school I suppose. Remember the peer pressure? If you weren't from the right school district, forget it, you won't be hanging with us, kid. From designer clothes to the first car we drive, it all matters, or so they say. A little nudging can be good, and motivate us to reach closer to our potential, but the pressures I remember can be damaging.

We've all heard the phrase "the grass is greener on the other side." Likewise, it's easy to long to be like someone else, to have the qualities and traits he/she has that we don't, while ignoring what we hold that is often times unique and wonderful.

For me, I tend to be on the quiet side, letting others take the limelight, while relishing in my achievements. I don't like the fanfare of being the center of attention. But it's easy for me to watch someone get up and speak, taking charge of the crowd, and wish I was just a little more like that. Would people think more of me? Is that more attractive? Wish I could sing like that, but I can't carry a tune in a bucket.

After a while of not realizing the personal dreams we long for, it's easy to start thinking about making changes. Okay, must be me, I'm just not getting any where, and look at ole Joe, everything just seems to fall in place for him.

What works for Joe may not work for me. Plus, after a time, as I reach a more "mature" point in my life, I see that Joe may not be as happy as it had seemed. We've all seen examples. Maybe Joe can't keep a marriage together, and his health is not good from all the habits. But all I can see is the flashy car and successful business, and above all, the personality. Charm and charisma. Or whatever things I don't have.

The things that seem so easy and obvious to me are impossible for Joe to handle without help.

Our unique gifts will make room for themselves, if we nourish them and allow growth. For every "A" personality that comes by and doesn't understand me, or at least in my narrow visibility it appears that way, someone is out there that understands and gets me. We all need both types in our lives, at least I do. I am finally reaching the point that I know I will never be the outspoken one, the leader who drives the masses, the life of the party. But my unique, special gifts have a place, and here's a news flash for those of you that are maybe a little younger, struggling with acceptance: you're admired by someone just the way you are, and as you meet people during your journey through life, even more will come by and touch your life, then be touched.

Don't try to change and be someone you aren't; you can only fake it for so long, and in the meantime, your special friend-to-be may walk by while you're in your own personal turmoil, and not even notice you. The one that will appreciate you just the way you were made, and no other way will do. And this goes for everyone, not just people like me (if there are any like me....)

Being yourself is more fun anyway. And more satisfying as well. And who can do it better than you?

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