Who are you? I mean, who are you, really? Who are you in the dark recesses of your being where the light of day is rarely, if ever seen? Really, who are you?
This question is so cliché we almost never give it any real focused thought. It is a question for those people who have their head in the clouds, or a question to make fun of by those who don’t generally think of such things as substantive.
It’s taken me a good many years to begin to be comfortable with who I really am. To be comfortable admitting these pieces of myself, that no one sees but me (and only if I choose to look) are not only a part of me, but are part of who I am & what I believe. And in some respects, they define me. In fact, a great part of me runs counter in belief & deed of some of my closest friends & family. I’ll bet you have a similar struggle in your life. I do not believe a great many things I was taught as a child & young man. I believe a great many things to be true today which were taught to me as a child to be false. And, a great many things I was taught when I was younger, I still hold to be true.
The challenge is usually, we want to be loved & accepted. It’s part of our social nature. We want our friends & family to share our religion, our sports team, our favorite band, and our politics. We want everyone to be awed by the brilliant singer or scientist. We want to share that common bond where our hearts & emotions connect. And we don’t know if everyone will share our love of the Florida Gators – they won’t. We do know we will be ridiculed for our differences. It’s been that way since we were in grade school. So we hide them, and along with them, part of who we are – possibly, who we really are.
Next, we add our work life to the mix & it becomes even more challenging. Many times, our careers require us to conform to a philosophy or culture we don’t believe in. One that doesn’t line up with the things we know to be right deep within our soul. We have to be professionals, and many times it sucks the life right out of who we are & who we want to be or become. As we identify more & more with a career, sometimes confusing what we do for money with who we are, life becomes even more fuzzy when we try see ourselves clearly.
I’ve found, at least for me, the most challenging task in my life is openly & honestly being myself. I don’t want to be ridiculed. I don’t want to be made fun of. I don’t want to lose friends. I want to be accepted. I want to be loved. I want to be respected.
I’ve also found being my honest, authentic self is the only way to be accepted, and loved, and respected. It’s incredibly challenging – maybe the biggest challenge in life – to be vulnerable enough, exposed enough to say, “This is who I am” without fear, and with full knowledge you will lose friends, you will be ridiculed, you will be made fun of. However, you will find your people. You will find your tribe. You will be accepted. You will be a plain ordinary dragon.
I challenge you to become who you really are. Find what make you tick & embrace it. Embrace yourself & your people will embrace you.