You must stand up for what you believe in.
Be true to your convictions.
Bargaining away those values results in you loosing who you are.
In turn that creates a life that is not a part of you.
Learn to live an authentic life.
Probably the most difficult pursuits of being true to ourselves is the parts of ourself that is so different from the world that surrounds us. Different then what the world expects of us. Different then the expectations others have for us. Different in they don’t believe in an aspect of your authentic self. Different because it goes against beliefs of those that are most close to us. Different because it seems rebellious. Different because it seems to threaten another simply by following what is true to you. Different because someone else has an entirely ‘different’ agenda for you. Visually different than others. So the story of different offers many varieties and spices of life. It is what brings color to our world.
In the summer I have a part-time Face Painting position in a couple of the local county parks. The kids and their parents line up with great enthusiasm to get their cheeks, arms or legs painted. They absolutely love it! The position reaps with positivity and appreciation by all who seek it out.
One day there was this young couple (late teens – early 20’s) and a few of their friends stood in line to get their arms painted. I notice that they had tattoos all over their bodies. I have no desire to have a tattoo whatsoever. But I wanted to better understand their ‘why’ of tattoing. So, I simply asked them. “Why do you get tatto’s?” Each one of them stood their in great delight and offered me reasons for each tattoo they had and the reason behind it. As I was listening, I better understood their ‘why’ for tattoing their bodies. I said to them, “they tell a story, they tell your story”.”Yes”, they said.
It was in that moment I felt this connection to them. Everyone wants to tell their story, and these young folks chose to tell their story by displaying it in tattoos. I was fascinated. I could see their faces light up, being able to tell their stories of each tattoo and being accepted that was the way they chose to express their story. It was the allowing, the listening and the sincere interest I offered to them, that they felt safe and accepted.
In spite of their difference, they were authentic to themselves. I chose to understand their authentic self. That brought connection. Connection to anothers difference will often give ourselves permission to express our own differences that scream from our own authentic self.
I have no closer desire to get tattoed, but it allowed me to understand that doing different, being different from afar can seem alien, but up close it is merely an individual being authentic to their true selves.
By Diana Wanamaker
Copyright June 20, 2016
All Rights Reserved