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Just Be Yourself

love yourself Dec 30, 2014
Just Be Yourself

I want to be myself. I really do. But the who the heck is that? 

I want others to know me. But I feel like I barely know myself. I have spent my life not just putting on a mask, but covering myself in a full-body lacquer to attempt to protect myself from feelings that aren’t happy. The trouble is, like 3-day old nail polish, the lacquer often chips. 

So what would happen if I stripped off the lacquer? What if I exposed my real self? What would I find? What would others see? 

  • I am a hopeless romantic that often wears black leather and acts like I’m too tough for that crap.

  • I am terrified to disappoint people I love and people I respect.

  • When I am afraid, I run and hide.

  • My fear manifests in physical ailments that make me high maintenance.

  • I am wicked critical of myself and convinced others are, too.

  • I am funny.

  • I can remember song lyrics and movie quotes like no one’s business but have no idea why I would have this ‘gift.’

  • I have always wanted to be a writer, a singer, an actor, a wedding planner, a motivational speaker, a CEO, an interior decorator, a photographer, a best friend, a success.

  • I measure success straight up by public opinion.

  • I go to bed every night feeling like I didn’t get enough done.

  • I hate to be cold and/or wet. Cold and wet together is the worst.

  • I don’t think I am pretty or stylish.

  • At my core I am a total nerd but have fought against it my whole life, trying desperately to be a cool kid but feeling constantly rejected by those I considered cool.

  • I am tired. All.The.Time.

  • I am an emotional abuse and bullying survivor. And by survivor, I mean I am still here.

  • I would love for someone famous to tell me that I am special.

  • I HATE fighting with people. Mostly because “What if I am wrong?”

  • Deep friendships and dinner parties are just opportunities for people to see the cracks in my lacquer. So I avoid them.

I am certain there is much more. Like an onion, there are many stinky layers to peel through. The question is, IF I peel them all back, what will I find? 

This isn’t about people pleasing. This is about whether or not I can accept myself. Can I stop trying to change myself long enough to truly even appreciate my good, bad and ugly? I don’t change myself to please others. I change myself to convince myself that I am good. And to avoid any weakness that others might see and criticize me for. 

The truly twisted thing is that I KNOW I am strong. I am brave. I am loved. I am worthy. I am smart. I am funny. I have gifts and a purpose. 

But how do I convince my stupid emotions and my physical self that betray me every day? 

I am SO MUCH better since discovering God less than a decade ago. I actively work to believe what He says about me is true. I give myself grace now that I didn’t used to. I just have a long way to go. I do not yet see the light at the end of the tunnel. Have no idea what I will find as I do the hard work of being me. I only know that I can’t continue like this. Like a virus eating away at me, or like a cancer silently taking every cell, this anxiety, this fear grows. It overwhelms me sometimes and I fear it’s affecting my kids now, too. It has got to stop. 

"We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” 

― Kurt Vonnegut

So here goes nothin’.