I’ve been thinking a lot the past few days about how I perceive myself, especially as compared to how others perceive me.
And how little I care anymore.
I’ve decided that if I am real, if I avoid the trappings of the phoniness I see everywhere, then I’m ok with being an outcast. I’ll be a pariah, by choice.
If I could do one thing for young girls growing up through the hellish years of puberty, crushes, popularity and competition, it would be to convince them that the things that seem so huge right now, will someday seem so silly. But I would never be able to convince them of that. I think I’ve figured out why, besides some of the more obvious reasons.
The growing up years are all about figuring out who you are, who you’re going to be, who you want to be, and how you’re going to get there. Because the whole of who you are is so confused in your hormone-addled brain, you’re constantly looking around you, seeing who others are and basing far too many assumptions about yourself on what you see in others.
Unfortunately there are a lot of adults who never get over that. Don’t believe me? Look around your work place, your kid’s school, your church. Does anyone stand out as being “different”?
I hope that I do. I’m just not content to be one of the herd, not even if the herd is what’s accepted, conventional…safe.
If I’m a follower of Christ, safe is not my number one priority. Nor is conventional, or acceptable. Jesus is radical – He demonstrated that in every act of his human existence on earth, He spoke it with His words, and the words He left for us in His word, spoken through others.
I read a quote recently that has been attributed to Coco Chanel, “I don’t care what you think of me. I don’t think of you at all.” I love that! It’s not my job to monitor and to manipulate what others think of me. My job is to be His hands and feet and to love Him and to love my neighbor.
My daughter is 6 years old. Soon she’ll start seeking to find the truth of herself. I hope she looks to Jesus and looks inside herself, and nowhere else. If she is one that others look to in trying to figure out who they are, I hope it’s because of her kindness, her intelligence and her courage to be the person she was created to be. God give ME the courage to be an example to her of that kind of life.
Why pretend? The ones who are worth caring what they think, will love you for the real you. And ultimately, every one of us only answers to One.