So I know everyone has probably heard this like a million times over! But it’s so fitting and never gets old. In a world where everyone is always trying to be a better version of someone else or constantly comparing themselves to other people; it’s important that we are reminded to be ourselves!.
Growing up a military brat, moving from place to place, I learned to quickly adapt. There’s nothing wrong with adapting to your surroundings. It’s a great trait to be adaptive. But what happens when you’ve adapted so much to the people around you that you don’t even know who you are? What do you like? What do you want to do? Who do you want to be? We often get so caught up in what people will think of us that we forget that we will be judged no matter what we do. I don’t know about you, but I would rather be judged being and loving the person that I am.
I struggled with being me for a very long time. I didn’t think that people would accept me for who I was because in my family when I was myself there was criticism attached to being who I was. I was criticized for acting “outside of” my race-Let me explain!
I have always spoken proper English and in complete sentences (I don’t know how that’s a problem but…..ok). I love a variety of music. I mean every kind you name it. Even in other languages (German, Spanish…whatever). I love different people from different backgrounds. White, black, Asian, Hispanic-everyone!. But being a black girl with a family from Atlanta this was kind of frowned upon. I was considered weird or accused of trying to “act” white. (Does anyone know what this means? I don’t think only white people speak in complete sentences, have a large vocabulary and listen to all types of music). So because of all of the backlash, I struggled with being who I really am. I struggled with embracing and loving myself for many years.
It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that one day I got a clue. My spiritual mother is awesome. She taught me a lot about serving God and putting Him first in all areas of your life. She came along at a time in my life where everything was falling apart. I was a single parent, going through a divorce, no money, trying to find a job, trying to learn how to serve Jesus and I was making really bad decisions. She just kind of gently nudged me along and encouraged me in several different ways.She is so awesome! She did it all in love. Even down to how I dressed. She helped me get a better fashion sense and learn more about what type of clothing fit my body type. So much so that when I would go shopping I would look for things that “looked” like her. Or I would take pics and send them to her.
One day I liked something but thought to myself “She may not like it.” and in that moment I was like “Ok wait…..something has got to change. You are not her. You are you! And that’s ok. You can take a little of what she’s taught you and mix in with a little of what you like and still look great. You don’t have to get everything she likes or do everything she likes or say everything she likes. Who are YOU?”
This moment made me really step outside of myself and think about who I wanted to be- A version of someone that everyone liked or me? Weird, quirky, funny, easily irritated, sometimes loud, loving, caring, loyal, dedicated, easily stressed out at times, needy, whiny, crying me. See what I did there? I’ve got great characteristics and then some not so good ones. But that doesn’t matter. God made me this way. He loves me just as I am. He cares for me. He adores me. He values me. So if God loves me just the way that I am, why can’t I? Why am I working so hard to be different or to be like someone else because society only deems certain things acceptable?
Why are you letting someone tell you that because you are loud, or irritating or clumsy, or silly, or struggling through life, or making bad decisions; whatever the case may be, that you are not ok to be you. Yes, we all have things to work on to be better people. But don’t lose yourself in the process. Own who you are with confidence. Love who you are. The people in your life who love and value you will still love and value you no matter what. So I say again my friend. BE YOU!