"What you must dare is to be yourself." -- Dag Hammarskjold
Many of us have gone through life not being or knowing who we are. From when we are children, the opinions of family members, teachers and friends shape who and how we think we should be; both positive and negative. But when we don't know who we are ~ or if we are afraid to be who we are ~ we betray ourselves.
I grew up in a household where I felt that I had to be perfect to be loved. Of course, no one is perfect, so I always felt like a failure. When I had achieved what I deemed perfection, a parent or family member, the one who’s affection I was working so hard to win, would always find a but ~ “oh, you did great on that performance, but you were singing a little flat” or “you have a great report card (usually all A’s), but why do you have a B in this class?”. No matter how well I did, I felt like I failed and also failed to win their love.
So I spent much of my life trying to be something I wasn’t. In relationships, I tried to be the person I thought the other person wanted me to be and though it was okay for a while, I was only able to bury who I really was for so long and grew tired of the charade. I wanted to be me and have someone love me for me, not who I thought I had to be or whom they wanted me to be.
In my heart I knew I needed to work on myself and seek healing for the parts that prevented me from being who I really was and loving that person that truly was me. It's been a many year process that still goes on today because one is never done learning and evolving. The more I dared to shine a light on those dark places, the more I found it wasn’t so scary to face those fears or past hurts. I got to a place that I could enjoy being me and didn’t have to worry about “performing”. I also tried not to concern myself with what the response was going to be; I was okay with sometimes having to walk my path alone. The confidence I gained enabled me to focus on others and assisting in whatever way I could to help them see that it’s okay to be who they really are.
What are some of the things holding you back from being who you really are? There is no need to hide your inner beauty and reveal the you that only you can be. If you need healing from the unkind words spoken to you growing up or bad things that have happened to you in the past, seek that help in whatever form you feel comfortable receiving it from. Surround yourself with people who love you and accept you. Love yourself and the people who matter will love you in return. And if they don’t, that’s okay, love them anyway. ©2013 T. A. Garcia