My husband is not a man of great stature. He does not posses a weightlifter’s physique. He is quiet, studious, and perhaps a little odd. Honestly, my husband looks like a fourteen year old with thinning hair.
Though he is small physically, he is the biggest man I know. His character outshines his lack of height. His compassion eclipses any flaws in appearance.
My husband is my hero.
Do you know why?
Because he is comfortable in his own skin. He embraces who he is without trying to conform to other people’s expectations. He treats his introversion as the strength it is. He lives courageously.
I wish I could be more like him.
I wish I was strong enough not to bend to someone else’s vision for my life.
An Example From Fiction
“The truth? The truth is that I never had any intention of marrying anyone at all. The truth is that all I really want to do is finish my illustrations for father’s volumes and get my paper published even though no one seems to want it. The truth is that I’ve been entirely miserable gadding about in slippers and fancy gowns while I waited for father to come to his senses and re-call me to work. The truth is that the only one I have been waiting for is you, Mr. Trimble.”
“Yes! I have been waiting for you to leave so that I can return. The truth is that I have tried my best to fit in with science, for which my sex has apparently made me ill-suited, and I have done my best to fit in with society, for which my passion for botany has made me equally ill-suited. The truth is that I seem to fit neither here nor there, and I deem it best, at this moment, to take myself upstairs. If you will excuse me.”
Charlotte’s frustrations resonate to the very core of my being.
I am a people pleaser. I am a master at making myself into what I think other people want to see. I can be outgoing and vivacious. I can be quiet and contemplative. Most days, I feel like a chameleon shifting colors to blend in and protect myself in my surroundings. In doing so, I’ve lost who I am.
As a child I would often spend time staring in the mirror asking “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” These two questions shaped my early understanding of my identity before people pleasing changed me.
My goal for this year is to rediscover myself and stop pretending to be what I think others are looking for me to be. But how?
- Discovering Personality
Though it is impossible to boil someone down to a few traits, taking a personality test can be an eye opening experience. You can find out a lot about yourself in the process. For example: Do you find large groups of people invigorating or draining? Do you rely on your intuition or your senses? Do you follow your mind or your heart? Are you good at improvising or prefer clear rules?
Understanding what motivates you gives you a chance to embrace your strengths and weaknesses. For me, that means not feeling bad that I require quiet solitude to refuel. I can focus my attention on fostering a few close friendship instead of trying to feel comfortable in a crush of people.
There are many free personality test on line. I used the Myers-Briggs type test at 16Personalities.
- Discovering Passion
Finding the activities that give us a sense of fulfillment is critical for embracing our true selves. If you’re like me, there are many things you can do well, but only certain activities give you real joy in the accomplishment. Maybe you find joy in baking or planning events. Perhaps your passion is in organizing or art.
When I was first married, I believed I would find fulfillment in all the tasks of a homemaker. Though I do these things fairly well and I find some joy in the accomplishment, my passion lies elsewhere in quiet pursuits like my reading, writing, photography, and the education of my son.
- Discovering Purpose
Life without purpose is no life at all. We were not designed to wander aimlessly through life without a path or destination. There is no satisfaction in simply existing. But our purpose has to be true to who we are, not simply something thrust upon us by outside influences. It starts by realizing you have something of value to give to the world.
Recognizing my personality and understanding my passion helps bring focus to my purpose. I’m still bringing my big picture of my purpose into focus and I hope you’ll continue with me through this blog as I explore the places where fiction touches life.
Embracing who you really are is not for the faint of heart. You must be courageous, like my husband. I am so blessed to be married to a man of deep character and quiet strength who encourages me to be the woman I was created to be.
Question for You: How do you actively embrace who you are?