I am very much on that “be true to yourself” bandwagon. Sometimes I wish I had jumped on way back when I was 30 or 40.
But what if you can’t always be on that “be true to yourself” bandwagon? Especially in relation to the reality around you?
I believe in being true to yourself. No one can make you happy — or unhappy — but you. I believe in never betraying your soul. But there are times when being true to your choices can cause eruptions in your daily life.
Say you truly want to go to Las Vegas or Paris or the Florida Keys and your significant other wants to stay home and plant trees. Do you stay true to your desires and fly away anyway?
I doubt it.
Say your friends all want to try out this new Mexican restaurant and you really don’t like Mexican. Do you stay home while everyone else goes?
I doubt it.
These are trite examples, but they state an honest message — you can’t always be true to your desires and beliefs.
I would rather write or read all day outside in the warm weather, or inside when its gloomy, but reality (in the form of work) gets in the way. I would love to sleep in on Saturday mornings, but my grandson’s soccer games get in the way. I would rather go to art fairs and renaissance fairs and craft fairs than clean house, but reality gets in the way. I believe in compromise (especially when it comes to housework).
I don’t believe in forcing my opinion in a crowd of people if it goes against what everyone is talking about. I may not agree on the point of view, the topic, the solution, but if there’s a chance of getting “into it” with friends it’s not worth it to me. I believe what I believe. I don’t need to convert them.
We all want to be ourselves at every turn. We want to do what we want when we want to, say no without repercussions, and voice our opinion on everything. We all want to say “I am a child of the universe and I answer to no one!”
But this is reality. It’s an every-man-for-himself kind of world. A survival mentality. If you are strong enough to take your beliefs to the next level and become public, do it. If you want to protest, make a change, do it. But most situations are not a fight or flight response. You have to calculate how important it is to give in to keep the peace. How you can do what others want without compromising your values. How to have conversations on sensitive subjects without hurting feelings or getting hurt yourself.
Face it. In most situations it’s easier to give in and move on. Find a way to be yourself without offending or messing with your everyday life. This is not the same as giving in. If you are abused, depressed, afraid, you need to actually do something about it. You have a right as a human being to be happy and healthy.
But if someone is a different religion or likes different music or would rather spend their day planting trees than gambling in Vegas, you can still retain your soul’s self worth and help plant trees too. Work on what you want. If it can’t be A make it B. Or F. Who cares, as long as you connect with your dreams?
Be who you want to be. Believe in what you believe. Follow your dream as far as your reality allows. But don’t make it a do-or-die choice. Friendships and family aren’t worth a surface compromise.
Hold true to yourself. Even if you feel a little slippery.