Lately I’ve been dealing with some of the aftermath from some self-focused people in my life. It’s affected me more than I knew and it hit very strongly recently. I’ve been pondering how to heal and recover from this, and also a greater question for everyone. How do we emotionally survive?
Strangely, (or could it be providentially?) this has coincided with some advice written to my coziece (that is the daughter of my cousin) about growing up. The situations are entirely different, and yet there is a common thread.
Hold on to who you are.
In the letter to my coziece, I wrote about what I’d do over if I had the wisdom I do now. One thing I said was that I wouldn’t worry so much about what others thought of me. I also thought about what I did well, and it was that I “did what I did” so to speak. If I had it to do over again, I’d do it more. I did my art. I had my rock collection and spent time with my favorite minerals. I painted valentines with watercolors. I scrambled up wooded hills and danced down creek beds. I was involved in plays.
Do what you do. Hold on to who you are.
Sometimes we can be afraid to be ourselves. What if we are those selfish people who just have to be the center of attention? What if we are those selfish people who want no one to bother us? But that is different that doing what you do. Making people laugh might be who you are. Pondering in silence might be who you are.
So hold on.
Whatever it takes to be who we are, let’s do this. I go to Confession quite often to keep myself fresh. I don’t have to … but I like it. And I emerge feeling like me. I need to get out in nature again, and sing again. And I’ve re-learned that it is OK to be a bit of a goofball and make people smile. What is it you are longing to do?
If we know who we are, those people who swallow others up in themselves can’t get to us so much. We stand on a firm foundation. We are loved for who we are by our Higher Power too. We are not all the same. We are delighted in for that uniqueness that is us. We are made lovely. Who we are deep inside is a masterpiece.
So hold on to who you are. Do what you do to be you — the real you under those things you might not like. The you that everyone could see unfolding when you were two and a half. It is not selfish. It is surviving. It is thriving. It is living life as it was meant to be.
May God bless your day.