Henry David Thoreau was right when he wrote, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined.” As cast in truth as his words are, many find themselves shackled by messages they’ve been given that lead them to believe being who they are can be dangerous. And for some of us, it was exactly that – dangerous. Parents, teachers, family members, clergy, so-called friends, along with romantic partners in life can destroy one’s sense of value and worth by giving us the message that who we are is hideously flawed and if we’d only just live life the way they wanted us to, everything would be alright. Bullshit.
My message to you is a simple one. Disengage from anyone who does not and will not accept you for who you are. Do it. Lovingly if you can, but do it. Here’s the thing. If you have to give up who you are to be connected to someone in life, the results will be nothing but tragic.
One of the hardest things for many of us to do is give ourselves permission to be who we are and our opponent in this quest is our respective histories. Many have been told they are stupid, ugly, too fat, too thin, to weak, too intense, not intense enough, too dramatic, not dramatic enough, and so on. Another impediment to our giving ourselves permission to be who we are comes from those who have ignored us. Parents who simply ignore their children. What message does that send? The ignored child is being given the terribly inaccurate message that they have no value, else why would they be ignored? The problem here rests with whoever is doing the ignoring. The problem does not rest with the one who is being ignored. But for a child who does not have the life experience with which they can gauge they way they are being treated, the results are brutal. No child deserves to be ignored.
Too often people in our life ask us to march to the beat of their drummer or some drummer they’ve decided is the be all and end all. This notion is, in a word, bullshit. If there is purpose to our lives, and I believe there is, it is to be who we really are. What else could it be? If you are one of the many who believes in God, and believes that God created you, why on earth would God create you if God didn’t want you to be you? I very much doubt God has a problem articulating on the creation front.
So, listen to Thoreau, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined.” It’s your life after all, and you deserve to live it as you.