Just be yourself, everyone else is taken.
We’ve probably heard Oscar Wilde’s quote about a million and one times, haven’t we?
Trying to just be yourself, however, brings about a slew of introspective examinations simply because a lot of us don’t know who we really are yet.
Or who we really want to be.
Even at my age playing on the downhill slide in the playground, I sometimes sit back and wonder if I’m the kind of person I either wanted to be or needed to be.
Often times, I tell myself it’s not just about being happy each day because I’m rarely that. It’s more along the lines of whether or not I’m living out my life in accordance with how I feel I should be living it.
Most days I’m kind of like, who the heck bloody knows if I am? It’s a lot more complex than just one day waking up and congratulating yourself on your successes or your perceived successes.
Determining one’s self-worth or importance and having an intimate knowledge of the image you project daily requires mindfulness. It often requires one to focus and be present in the Now. Become aware of what’s happening all around. Understand how one’s moving through the space of the Now impacts others.
Often it requires we learn to be totally honest with others and ourselves.
Honesty, whoo boy, then there’s that.
It’s one thing to be honest with yourself (even though most writers suck at this — Impostor Syndrome ring a bell?) but to tackle a host of interactions with your fellow Human such as essential communication, religious or political affiliation, gender awareness, and many others requires a heck of a lot more than just being true to yourself.
Let’s dissect being true to yourself for a minute. In most instances, being true to yourself often aligns with someone living life on their own terms.
And that actually means what?
Living life on your own terms, not to be misconstrued with living in your own world, which possibly suggests something a little closer to a psychotic episode, is usually interpreted as moving through a life that possesses a meaningful and fulfilling existence.
Not always a prerequisite to living on your own terms, but always handy is the aspect of having been successful at building financial freedom. Freedom, which of course provides you the time (from my perspective, a luxury) to pursue those things which matter the most you.
I don’t know about all of you, but I just don’t think I’m there yet.
Not even close.
Okay, so the financial part withstanding, most of us creatives gravitate toward lives that are meaningful to us and which bring with it many fulfilling moments.
But remember, we’re talking about learning to be true to yourself and how sometimes that virtue may not help us tackle the problem of interaction with our fellow Humans.
Especially if in an effort to be true to our nature we choose to forgo the valuable lesson of knowing when to apply filters and take them off.
There are a ton of things in this world each of us probably loves, and for each one of those things, there are probably at least two or three we absolutely abhor.
The trick to being honest with yourself, possessing mindfulness, and learning how to live life on your own terms is sometimes knowing when to stop removing your filters and vocalizing negative opinions or reacting irrationally to some of the things you dislike.
Several years ago, posted on the blog Critical Cactus, one article really hit home.
Mind Your Own Business
Don’t like gay marriage? — Don’t get one
Don’t like abortions? — Don’t have one
Don’t like drugs? — Don’t do them
Don’t like sex? — Don’t have it
Don’t like your rights taken away? — Don’t take anyone else’s
The main thrust of this section is that attempting to be honest with yourself and living on your own terms does not allow, nor should it ever allow, you to vehemently protest, or physically intercede with, the actions of another Human who is merely trying to do the same.
It kind of reminds me of a belief I’ve tried to practice my entire life.
One Human’s rights end where the other’s begin.
That’s why you just doing you won’t necessarily tackle the more global Human interaction problem. Living life on your own terms doesn’t give you the right to force someone else to stop living on theirs.
It takes much more than that from all of us.
As Oscar said, just be yourself. The others are taken. You be you and strive to live life on your terms, but in the process, teach yourself mindfulness and awareness as you do.
It parses down to what you assume and or what you’re willing to understand.
Understand there are other Humans on this planet who each are trying just as hard as you are to live a life of meaning and contentment. Trying to live life on their own terms.
Understand their terms may not be the same as yours, and you have no right to force them to alter their perceptions of happiness simply because you neither understand nor like the things they believe, their political stance, or their sexual preference.
Being true to yourself will never be enough to tackle the overarching problem, and no one but a fool will tell you living on this planet with billions of other Humans is easy.
But with a lot of patience and practice, with becoming mindful of your actions and how they impact others, by learning to live in the Now and understanding how living on your own terms often affects others trying to do the same, we may all just make this planet of ours a better place to live.
Not that we have any extraterrestrial options being offered at the moment.
But even if we did and found ourselves rubbing elbows (or other parts, if the alien inhabitants don’t necessarily have elbows) with the locals, we would still have to understand a simple premise.
Being true to ourselves is only part of the equation.
Thanks For Reading
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