Blogtember prompt: Pass on some useful advice or information you learned and always remembered.
Be Yourself. There are a lot of variations on this theme. Great quotes, some fun lyrics, and a lot of average & cheesy platitudes. Be yourself, everyone else is taken. To thine own self be true. The original is always more valuable than a copy.
I am grateful that I have grown up with an innate sense that it’s first prize to be myself. Thinking about it, I realised that I heard people tell me that for years all through my youth, but honestly, it never really sunk in. Or at least it never kicked in.
After a lot of growing up, and a sprinkle of learning things the hard way, & settling into my twenties I realised that I still had this niggle about ‘being myself’. I had traveled, studied, worked, eaten, prayed & loved… yet I didn’t feel like I knew what it actually looked like to be myself. I did know it sounded like a much lighter way to live than constantly working to be what I thought I should be.
What it’s taken me until rather recently to learn, is that all of the well meaning self-being talk in the world is all very well. What I needed to hear was,
Take the time to know yourself.
Because how can you be yourself if you don’t even know what that looks like. It’s OK not to know all of everything that you are, but it’s worth stopping to think about it. Maybe this came more naturally for others, but it’s been so good for me to make my own acquaintance a bit more intentionally.
For me this looked like a lot of different things. Learning to spend time alone- planning to spend time alone. Dialing back on external stimulus that tells me what I should be. Asking God regularly to show me what He loves about me & what He made me for. Catching myself quickly when I compare myself to others & constantly come up short.
It looks like giving myself an extra 5 minutes with the menu so I order something I actually want. Acknowledging that there are some things that I just cannot do. Realising it’s hard for me to need people, so learning to ask for help – even when it’s not an absolute emergency. Knowing how I behave when I’m vulnerable so I can see the signs & be kind to myself.
I know that I will continue to change, & It’s not an excuse for me not to grow. I love to be surprised when I don’t fit into the box of who I’ve come to know myself to be. What does it look like to get to know you?