Be Yourself

25 Sep

“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.”  ~ Marilyn Monroe

Children go through a lot as they grow up.  One of the tragedies is the message that they appear to get from their parents, teachers, and others who are important to them that they need to be someone different.  “If you’d only be like…” is a phrase used quite often.  They are compared with others and, in the process of the comparison, it is pointed out to them how they are lacking while the other person is much more than they are.

They are told that the other person can do calculations faster, that the other person can do sports better, that they other person has more personality, and the like.  Before you know it, the child, going into the teen years, has a very unhealthy self-concept.  We wonder why they want to be like someone else, often failing to realize that we are the ones who planted those seeds into their psyches.

Marilyn Monroe fought with that in her life as well.  People told her who she needed to be in order to become famous.  She bought into that line of thought and, many would say, it ultimately destroyed her.  “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.”  How true.  If Marilyn had been satisfied with who she was and developed her gifts without pressure from others, her life might have unfolded in a radically different way.

I think that we all understand the basic premise that God is the author of all life.  We understand it and we accept that.  We use that as the basis for the development of a respect life culture.  However, while we endorse the proposition that God is the author of all life, it appears that we cannot resist getting into other people’s lives and modifying them.  “Oh, sure, God may have created them.  But what’s wrong with a little tweaking?” we ask ourselves.  A lot.

There is a lot wrong when we send messages to other people that they are not worthy, that they are not acceptable, that they are not wanted because of who they are.  There is a lot wrong when we set conditions upon someone to get the affirmation that they desire.  When we tell someone that they must change before we love them or help them, we are doing them a grave disservice.

Why should we insist that a person become other than what God made them?  Why can we not see their beauty and value and celebrate that?

FAITH ACTION:  Ask God to give you the grace that you need to accept yourself for who you are and to accept others for who they are.