Dipping french fries in mayonnaise. Marshmallow fluff and Nutello sandwiches. Putting socks on sock-shoe-sock-shoe, instead of sock-sock-shoe-shoe. We all have our unique traits that make us special. Our laugh. Our fingerprint. The way we enter a room, answer the phone or sneeze. They are all a piece of the one-of-a-kind puzzle created to become who we are.
Sometimes being who we are is easy and fun. When others embrace our individuality and celebrate the gifts and talents we have, we can feel amazingly special. People want to experience the music we create, have us put our talents to work for them and share in the excitement of our blessings. It feels good to be us.
But when our gifts are a little off the beaten path, perhaps a little too quirky for the mainstream, people often don’t know how to interact with us. They expect us to put our special selves in a box and conform to their world and expectations. They no longer want us to celebrate who we are, instead they expect us to change and adapt to their vision for us. Being unique can feel like a burden too heavy to bear.
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy,
a quickening that is translated through you
into action, and because there is
only one of you in all of time,
this expression is unique.
And if you block it, it will never
exist through any other medium
and it will be lost.
The world will not have it.”
~ Martha Graham
Yes, there is only one you and one me. Embracing the person we are is critical and necessary for everyday happiness and to fulfill the reason we are here. Stop trying to please everyone else and live the life someone else chose for you. Embrace the qualities and emotions that bring you life. Pursue the dreams that bring you hope and fuel your inner passion. Dance in the rain if your feet feel like dancing. Dye your hair purple if your inner you screams for it! Embrace all that you are and unlock the door to inner happiness.
If you struggle with what makes you uniquely – and wonderfully – you. Grab a pen and a piece of paper. Write down 10 things that you love about yourself; yes, at least 10 traits, talents, skills that you absolutely love about yourself. Maybe that you are a fantastic Mom, you love to garden, you are awesome in the kitchen, you are dedicated to health and wellness…if it takes a month of Sundays, so be it! Don’t stop until you can come up with a list of 10 or more. When you have it, study it. Know that the list you hold is the list is that makes you uniquely you. No one else can ever share that list with you; it is uniquely yours.
I want you to take that list and put it somewhere that you must see it every morning when you start your day. By your toothbrush, your coffee pot, your Bible, where ever your day begins, post that list. And when your day begins, read that list out loud to yourself. Read it, internalize it, celebrate it; keep telling yourself all those things that are wonderfully, uniquely amazing about yourself until you believe it! And don’t let anyone or anything put doubt in your head that those aren’t your special gifts. Make them yours and make them the reason to embrace your uniquely wonderful self.
Embracing your uniqueness comes when you do your best to take care of yourself. Take time to rest, regroup, and relax daily. We all must, daily, take the small action steps towards making our dreams a reality. Give yourself permission to get out there and “go for it!” Give yourself permission to disappoint those who expect much and hold you on a pedestal you don’t belong.
Most importantly, don’t change who you are for any one. Be who you are and live; an outrageously wonderful life will be your reward.