January 6

Today's quotation:

Just being ourselves is the biggest fear of humans.  We have learned to live our life trying to satisfy other people's demands.  We have learned to live by other people's points of view because of the fear of not being accepted and of not being good enough for someone else.

Don Miguel Ruiz

Today's Meditation:

Who am I?  Isn't that one of the fundamental questions of our existence in this life, on this planet?  It's a question that we all would like to have answered, yet one that we avoid addressing sometimes at all costs, as if we were too afraid to find out that we may not be what we want ourselves to be.  It's much easier to be what others want us to be, for then we have criteria upon which to judge ourselves--this person says I'm fine the way I am, so I must be fine.  A lack of criteria is a very frightening thing for us.

But we have an inborn desire to be authentic, to be the people we were born to be.  We see this desire especially when we're being someone else--when we're pretending to like something because someone else likes it, when we're pretending to believe something that others believe so that we'll fit in, when we're acting in ways that feel awkward and uncomfortable because we think that others expect us to act that way--and we certainly want to meet those expectations, don't we?

It's okay to be yourself, and you don't owe anyone any explanations about how you act or what you believe.  If someone's trying to pressure you to be someone else, then it's time to question your relationship with that person, not necessarily to question the way that you are.  Remember that they may be right in questioning you or your actions or your beliefs, because those aspects of yourself may be hurting you, but your response to them should be thoughtful and introspective, not a simple rejection or a simple acceptance just to appease them.

You are good enough, just as you are.  You shouldn't think that you need to be yourself just to make someone else like or accept you--we're often much better off when certain people don't accept us, to be honest.  Let them go, and move on with your life, continuing to be true to who you are--or spend some time in quiet reflection making sure that you know who that person is--what do you consider good and acceptable, and what do you consider bad and unacceptable?  What do you love, what do you accept, what do you desire to do and to experience?  Ask yourself the questions whose answers will help you to see just who your authentic self is.  And love that person, completely and unconditionally.

Questions to consider:

How important is it to you to be accepted by others?

What kinds of things do you do to make sure that you're accepted?  Do those things reflect the true you?

Why is it so tempting for us to be so concerned with whether or not other people accept us and want to be with us?

For further thought:

Sometimes we exclude things in ourselves in order to be like everybody else around us--our ethnicity, our social backgrounds, our ideas.  What kind of world is it that will not allow me to be myself, and is it really good for me to be there?  What part of me will die a slow death if I stay?

Joan Chittister
Seeing with Our Souls

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