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Irish writer and poet Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” Yet many of us change who we are so that we can be accepted by the people around us.
We sometimes compromise our principles, alter our values, and suppress our inner selves to fit in. In the process we lose ourselves, our genuineness, and we even lose some self-respect. We also distance ourselves from the authentic part of us, our inner child.
Holding firm to our values, our principles, and who we are does not mean we cannot compromise. Nor does it mean we assume a position of considering ourselves to be right and others to be wrong. It simply means that we know who we are and we do not lose ourselves in relationships with others.
We state our truth quietly and clearly and we are open and willing to hear and accept the truth of others, even when it differs from our truth. We do not feel compelled to adopt the truth of others merely to be accepted.
We accept ourselves just as we are, with the knowledge that we are growing daily and who we are today will change as we grow. We love ourselves without reservation, knowing that this releases us to love others. When love for ourselves and others is at the forefront of our interactions, we will more easily be able to be ourselves.
Who I am I once was not,
Nor ever shall I be again.
I am but a minuscule dot
Woven in the path of man.
To some I am a pleasant thought,
To others a painful memory.
Regardless of how my essence is caught,
Can I be any less than me?
S. Fisher, 1984 American Poetry Anthology, page 222.
May the God of love add a blessing to these humble words.