“I know for sure that I had to first get clear about who I was before I could beat the disease to please. When I accepted that I was a decent, kind, and giving person–whether I said yes or no–I no longer had anything to prove. I was once afraid of people saying, “Who does she think she is?” Now I have the courage to stand and say, “This is who I am.” ~ Oprah Winfrey, What I Know For Sure…
One of the most certain things I can say in my life is that “I am who I am.” When I look in the mirror, the person I see looking back at me is exactly who I am–for better or for worse, wealthy or poor, social or reserved, man of thought or man of action. And this is a beautiful thing, for it liberates me from the “disease to please” others. The truth is that no one is perfect; we all are trying to make the most of our lives–as best we know how–in a world that often times makes it difficult for us to do so, and that is why we should accept each other and ourselves as we are.
When Oprah said she was afraid of people saying, “Who does she think she is?,” she most likely tried very hard to avoid that kind of response. Yet when we spend any of our time or energy worrying about why someone will not accept us, or what they might think about us, we are misusing our extraordinary potential. In addition, we are letting our worries and concerns about what others might think about us determine how we act, which suggests that we are not being genuine.
Most of us wish to be in other people’s good graces. But it is much more important that we are true to who we are inside. We are each unique individuals who are worthy of understanding, respect, and dignity–the spirit within each of us is guiding and leading us towards where we need to be. And at some point, when we are able to act in ways that we feel are right and just, without an apology or explanation, we will find ourselves to be living our authentic lives.
Love and accept yourself for who you are right now.
Questions to consider:
What is required of us to accept ourselves as we are without apology or explanation?
Why do we often worry about what others think about us and how they see us?
How can you go about accepting ourselves more fully? Why does it take courage to do so?
For further thought:
“As children of the Most High God we are to accept ourselves as the natural creation does–which simply is in great beauty, without self-condemnation. Yet those people who truly love and accept themselves are rare. Why do we seek self-worth through social recognition and acquisition, as though those were needed? We are special children of God, the Creator of worlds without measure. As such, each one of us is intrinsically very, very worthy.” ~ Bruce Gilbert