I have spent far too much of my life apologizing for who I am. Trying to constantly work on myself to be better, but not better for myself. Better for others, because I consistently hear things like this:
It’s all in your head.
You need to stop worrying so much.
Will you just relax?
You’re making this a bigger problem than it is.
Why do you have to plan everything out?
Can you just go with the flow?
Why do you overanalyze everything?
You’re being dramatic (my personal favorite).
Yes, I’m that friend. The one who over-thinks, over-plans, over-analyzes, and over-worries.
And I’ve heard these comments quite often in my life. They’re like little arrows. Because as soon as I’ve tried to forget getting pierced by one of them, another gets flung. And they hurt. They sting, because I know I’m a bundle of anxious energy. I try to fight it each and every day. I’m self-conscious about it.
You may be saying, “Yup, I feel ya girl. That’s me too.”
But here’s the thing. We live in a culture that is permeated with anxieties and stress. There are deadlines, natural disasters, diseases, personal hardships, etc. So being risk-averse and worrying about your family, friends, and yourself in this crazy world, it’s not so unnatural.
In fact, I think it’s time to embrace our anxious, type-A, personalities. For years I tried to be someone I’m not. I wore flowers in my hair, listened to Sublime and 311, and burned incense all in the hopes of becoming that cool, laid back hippy chick who went with the flow. When inside, I was sick of sitting in front of the TV for hours and hanging around people who truly didn’t give two… cents. When in fact, I gave a lot of cents. But I fought my natural inclinations, because I wanted to be “cool.”
Since then, I’ve been thrusted into the real world with a lot more responsibility and the more days that pass, the more I’m settling into my skin. Yes, that sometimes dramatic, over-the-top, has everything on her calendar person. And I’m loving it.
Or at least trying to. Becoming comfortable with who you are isn’t easy. Especially when we’re told on a daily basis who we should look like and how we should act. I’m often upset by the plethora of images that bombard my social media and the media outlets touting the “perfect body” and the “perfect person.”
But I was getting so upset by our culture, it was affecting how I looked at myself. Their plan was working…
I can try with all my might to fight the “perfectionism” culture in this world, but it’s most important to fight it in my own life.
So here’s my proclamation to myself and to you.
Love you for all that you are. Maybe you’re the laid back friend. Maybe you’re the anxious friend. Maybe you’ve never even thought about it.
Maybe you’re twenty pounds heavier than you want to be. Maybe you’re not a fan of your nose. Maybe you’re stressed about something in your personal or work life. Maybe you ate too much junk food last night and feel like crap today. Maybe you didn’t hit a PR in your last race. Maybe you missed your best friend’s birthday.
Meet yourself where you are. Love yourself for who you are, right here and right now.
I may be anxious and a bit over the top sometimes. But I love that about myself.
We need each and every one of us in this world. Our differences make us beautiful.
I am a daughter of God. You are a child of God.
But you belong. The Holy One anointed you, and you all know it. I haven’t been writing this to tell you something you don’t know, but to confirm the truth you do know, and to remind you that the truth doesn’t breed lies. – 1 John 2:20-21
You belong. These lies that you’ve been hearing and that you’ve been telling yourself about who you are – how inadequate you are, how you need to work on yourself, how you need to be this or that. Those are lies. Do not believe the lies.
God has made you beautiful in His own image. Do not question what He has created in you.
Love yourself and the goodness will flow.
And remember the old saying: Comparison is the thief of joy. Because no one can take your place.