How do you define yourself? Is it how others see you, successful, beautiful or educated? Maybe it’s how you see yourself, overweight, struggling to pay the bills or always trying to keep up with the Jones’ next door? It saddens me how many of us fall into this trap, defining who we think we are without really knowing who we are.
This year, 2015, is about being myself, knowing myself and being happy with who I am, not what I am. Most, if not all of 2014 was spent finding myself, who I really was, not who I or for that matter anyone else thought I should be. Discovery can be exciting and challenging as it can be painful. For me, the exploration was worth the loss. I’m done with walking on eggshells or cow toeing to a definition of an idea of myself which has no merit! Personally, I am a wife, a mother, a lover, a daughter, an only child, a niece, a cousin, an aunt, a daughter and sister in law, a friend, a breast cancer survivor, a writer, a Christian, and a million other things BUT none of those things define me solely. My son Micah says all the time,” I am not my Autism. I am not defined by my Asperger’s. It is part of me, not all of me.” Pure, simple and beautifully unfiltered!
Life lesson #17, just be you, perfection and normal are seriously overrated!
Do our mistakes define us, no I don’t think so. Everyone falls short, makes a wrong turn, says something out of hand, but I do believe we are defined in how we choose to mend those mistakes in our lives. Taking responsibility for our own actions, how we contribute and participate in the process speaks more of our character and to WHO we are rather than WHAT we are. Our trials don’t define us nor do our accomplishments. In my eyes who we really are and how we are defined isn’t found in what got us there, but in how we faced what drug us there. If we could just learn to understand what a loss is to the outside world knowing it's not necessarily a defining moment or a defeat in our journey to becoming the people we want to be, we’d be happier folks. In truth it may be just the opposite; a failure may open another door we would have missed in becoming our real selves!
Now with all this talk about defining ourselves and the” me” word coming up a lot, I want to be clear it’s not all about us. It’s not our way, I want, me, me, me, or the high way kind of thing. We have to learn in really knowing ourselves and in being ourselves, we have to give of ourselves too. I won’t say we can’t live with strings attached, but I don’t see how anyone can live with them very well. Sure if you want to be defined and controlled by puppet strings, becoming part of someone else’s circus, then so be it. Go ahead, throw yourself into it, roll around in the slop and have at it. It’s a choice. As for me, my perspective has changed at 180 angle. I’m choosing to live this beautiful opportunity God has given me, to experience and live life outside the box. This is exactly how I personally want to define myself.
See life is not a game; it’s a journey, an adventure. We can’t control everyone and how they see or accept us. It’s not in how we play, what rules we break or follow or how we get ahead. If playing the game of life is how we choose to live then we have already lost and are truly defined by nothing. We can be part of the rat race or we can take part in a living, breathing journey. As for me, I made a choice at the very beginning of this month. I promised myself and the Lord not to allow one more snippy, arrogant tip toe of chaos and drama into my sacred space! I want my faith to grow not wilt. I will not be manipulated or controlled by destructive poisons any longer. I am not who this person, that person or social media wants me to be. Honestly, I am happy with who I am and who I am becoming on my journey. I’m done with the outside world’s view of who I should be.
Note to self: Stop allowing your heart to be drawn and quartered. Love and relationships should never be something you leverage, period. On a personal note, I have learned the opinions of emotionally deaf ears and blind hearts shouldn’t tarnish who we know we are. Sure, we may be judged and looked down upon, but by whom, those who really know nothing of or about us? Honestly, I can’t change or stop what the outside world wants to see or believe about who I am. My strides are forward, not backwards. I will be dauntless in the pursuit of who I am. This is my story, just as it’s yours, not theirs. We have no control in the way toxic people operate themselves, but we do have a say in how they manage us. We have to decide we cannot and will not define our lives through the actions of others. We are responsible and accountable to ourselves. I’m personally accountable to my Savior and to my immediate family as well but not to those who sit in wait ready to denounce me, picking up stones over silly nonsense and plastic views. Who are those who feel they can define who I am anyway? The truth is this; those who seek to define us can only do so as long as we allow them to.
Bottom line, normal is simply overrated and life is just too messy to obsess about controlling every hiccup let alone my neighbors. I am simply me, unashamed and confident not in perfection but in the knowledge of my imperfections. I've written from the hip today, speaking my truth, so I guess the question is what is yours? Life is really scary friends, but go on, take a deep breathe, put a helmet on and then get out there and live it! What are you waiting for?