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Successful Sunday, October 18, 2020

Be Yourself

beautiful black woman with cornrows crossing a downtown city intersection wearing bold black and white clothes and a bright yellow tulle skirt

With everything going right now, most people try to embrace the suck. I am one of the sucky people sucking it up, but it hit me today to embrace something else. What would happen if we embraced the weird and wondrous aspects of our being? Embracing yourself warts and all is a radical idea because it goes against everything trying to tell us we are not enough. Buy this cream, this outfit, this car, this program, or this whatever so you can be unique and special, just like everyone else. My life is unremarkable to most, and that is okay. I do not need to be a celebrity to be enough. Each day that I choose to love myself is to be a rebel, and that is remarkable.

But, and there is always a but - what if I am just fooling myself? Maybe I do not deserve to love myself because I am a big, fat failure. Is that true? What am I defining as success? If I died today, what would people take away? Am I okay with that? Yes. It is not easy to choose to love oneself because our programming is to be better, continuously improve. Is there a favorite family recipe you love? Does it need to be tinkered with or improved? Some things are fine just the way they are. Unhappiness starts when I compare myself against external forces. Eckhart Tolle wrote that "Stress is caused by being 'here' but wanting to be 'there.'" Do you expect a human baby to walk the moment it is born? Of course not. Think of personal growth in the same way. It is a process, and you will get "there" and don't need to stress about the "here."

I live in South Florida. We get a lot of rain for the sunshine state. The great thing about living here is if you don't like the weather, wait for a few, and it will change. So it is with your life; if you do not like where you are now, wait for a few, and you will have a different experience. Our feelings about an experience are a construct based on your mindset. Rain is neutral. It is a natural part of the water cycle. If you are in a drought, rain is a welcomed event. If your roof is leaking, rain is a stressor. How you see yourself depends on your mindset. Other people will view you through their lens. Their viewpoint does not have to change you unless you accept their projections.

Good food is about striking a balance. Chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and chocolate chips topped with chocolate ice cream can be cloying if you do not have something bitter to offset it. A master chef may put something unexpected such as raspberries or bitter walnuts. According to the television show "The Good Place," having your every want and desire met gets boring. It is the so-called flaws or struggles that make life enjoyable. My son has a love-hate relationship with video games. When the big boss beats him, he gets so frustrated and feels like a loser. He perseveres and defeats the bad guy. The win is more meaningful because of the struggle. It is not a question of who you want to be today but more, do you want to be you? Namaste