I certainly have… and it was my husband, Eric, who challenged me. He saw something different in me than I saw in myself. I honestly believed I was one personality type with a traditionalist temperament as well as a fairly scheduled and organized person. I was brought up to behave that way and I was taught (and learned) that was the best way to live.
Sure, I struggled to keep my house clean, I was late everywhere, and I hated following routines; yet, I was convinced that I leaned more to the structured and decided side of the “how one organizes his or her” lifestyle preference than the adaptable, flexible side.
I fought this realization about myself for years. Eric could see it, but I could not. I thought admitting I was not a scheduled and organized person was somehow admitting defeat. After all, for whatever reason, I was convinced that scheduled, organized people were worth more to society and were simply better people.
I Gave In…
I’m glad Eric was willing to continually challenge my thinking. Since he’s so detail-oriented and organized (in most facets of his life ~smile~), I felt even more pressure to be that organized person I believed I was supposed to be early in our marriage.
“One day I’m going to get this house cleaning down pat, and then I’ll be worth more.”
“Sooner or later, I’m going to love reading and studying, and then I’ll be a more useful member of society.”
“This year, I’m going to get up at a certain time and get several chores done before I do anything fun. Then I will have achieved adulthood.”
In contrast, when I finally accepted who I was created to be, what a relief it was to say:
“I’m not an inherently organized person, and that’s okay.”
“I don’t enjoy research, studying, or school, and that’s okay.“
“I am a big kid at heart who loves to play, and I’m happy with myself!”
By giving in to who I really am, I’m not shrugging off housework as unimportant, or declaring that I will never again balance a checkbook. I’m simply admitting that I have certain strengths and preferences as well as other weaknesses which do not affect my overall worth.
I’m just me! And I’d rather experience something than read or be told about it!
Accepting Who I Really Am Changed My Life!
Once I embraced my authentic self, suddenly I was happier! Apparently, chastising myself for not being good enough all those years zapped my emotional energy.
I can make (and need to make) an effort to keep a tidier house, but I no longer see doing so as proof of my worth as a human being.
I can make an effort to be more detailed and scheduled, but it will never come naturally to me, and I’m honestly okay with that… now. I have other strengths (some of which I have not used), and I love the strengths I have. ~smile~
Confidence is probably the greatest gift I gained when I decided to accept and own my personality. When you choose to tap into the gifts God gave you instead of longing for the gifts He’s given others, you can get a lot more done! ~smile~
For years, I’ve wanted to lose weight; but, somehow, I’ve always defeated my efforts for improvement. Since acknowledging my true personality, I’ve been able to make a weight loss goal and chip away at it consistently by approaching the goal with who I really am and not by means of who I was supposed to be!
Knowing Myself has Blessed My Marriage!
Eric is also glad to live with the happier, more peaceful, Heather. He’s glad to see me accomplish my goals. He’s been a big help to me in this weight-loss endeavor. Because he encouraged me to be myself, we are both getting to enjoy the fruit of the real me.
For years, I thought he’d be happier with me if I was more like him. Believing that did not make me more like him. All it did was make me unhappy and listless. We are just as different from each other now as we were ten years ago, but the happier me is much easier to live with and much more likely to go after my dreams. Hiding in the shadows wishing I was “better” was getting me, and us, nowhere.
If you want to bless your relationship, be you. Don’t embrace irresponsibility, laziness, pride, or other negative aspects of your actual personality, but don’t pretend to be someone you are not either.
I will admit that I have a strong tendency to be lazy. If I don’t plan otherwise, I will be. However, my personality also includes many good qualities – and I’m choosing to accentuate those these days. I’m not prideful about my gifts and talents; there are others who possess far more talents (or, perhaps different talents) than I do, but I don’t find hiding them a virtue anymore.
I’d rather spend my time exploring my positives than mourning my negatives. The more goals I accomplish, the more confidence I gain to overcome my weaknesses. Beating myself up was counterproductive; and, if you’re beating yourself up, I’m sure it’s not yielding positive results for you either.
Would you say you are embracing your true self, or are you trying to be someone you’re not? Are you afraid that you will not be a desirable person if you let go of your façade and show up 100% authentic?
It is scary to pull the mask down, but is the thought of never living out your God-given purpose even scarier? God made you who He wanted you to be. Sure, you have weaknesses which should not be ignored, but you also have positives which should be embraced. If you are not happy with who God made you to be, explore that. Could you be holding onto some irrational or destructive beliefs? Could you be viewing life through someone else’s eyes of approval rather than your own?
For your sake, and the sake of your relationship, I wish you the joy of discovering who God made you to be. It’s great to be real – unapologetically real. Doesn’t that sound freeing?
Are you comfortable with your authentic self or are you trying to be someone else?