Saturday, August 17, 2013

Being What You Are

A while ago I heard this positive thinking seminar.  The end point was that you decide to be happy.  It's no one else's responsibility.  They told this story about the people who were happy and kept people's spirits while in the concentration camps.  These people were presented like superhero's, not responsible for everyone and yet still able to cope and see the best in what happened.  In that way they did end up taking the responsibility for the well-being of others and became leaders, mentors and kin to everyone who knew them.  
The seminar made it seem like everyone could be like that.  For so long I assumed that was true.  If you want to be happy then be happy.  You'll be a mentor, leader and kin.  Everything will be roses not because they are but because I make them that way.
I never stopped to think how rare those mentors are.  There is more than just being happy because you want to.  Wouldn't everyone choose to be like that if it were so easy?  
It's rare because we are all so different.  We never could become happy by flipping a switch.  What reasons can inspire you NOT to be a mentor and leader?  Can't you still be inspiring and not have to laugh through a Holocaust?  Why is it okay to be yourself and when is it not okay?  
The more my husband and I learn what questions to ask each other we discover how different we think.  We cope different.  We react different.  We both have trouble with ourselves.  We are different!  Why is that not okay?  Why should I spend so much time trying to normal?  I'm trying to be someone I'm not.  I'm trying to be like you.
When I was told for the first time I would never accomplish being normal but I could come close I was angry.  The answer to the problem was to keep on pretending to be what I'm not.  I keep going into tough social situations and coming out scared and exhausted.  I want to be relaxed and comfortable AND be social.  

I see myself in almost every word and I cringe and the mountain I've been climbing.  I don't see the summit but I know I want to overcome this obstacle.  I want to be like other people.
But the therapist told me I never would.  I'd never BE like you.  I could NEVER do all the things you do.  All this time I've spent believing if I try harder I'll be just as good as average has only taught me to be hard on myself.  I can barely see my talents any more.  
Then I think that no one feels normal.  We all want perfection in something.  None of us have evolved into something exactly like we want.  When someone tells you to stop making a mistake or to drop a flaw you have laugh at them.  I think it's okay to make them feel the way you do so point and laugh at their naive ignorance.  
Sometimes you CAN'T and sometimes you CAN.  The best we can hope for is to TRY and know when it's better for our well-being to STOP TRYING.  That is what they don't tell you in those seminars.  You can be happily imperfect.  You don't have to be a superhero to be a hero.

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