What we hunger for perhaps more than anything else is to be known in our full humanness, and yet this is often just what we also fear more than anything else . . . . Little by little we come to accept instead the highly edited version which we put forth in hope that the world will find it more acceptable than the real thing. — Frederick Buechner
It’s called being vulnerable, transparent, and real. Like Frederick Buechner says, it’s what we really want, to be accepted for who we are. Unfortunately, fear all too often prevents us from embracing our true self–with all of our gifts, talents, failures, achievements, and imperfections.
Western culture and advertising are good at telling us what we don’t have and what we need to make us feel better about ourselves, look more attractive, be more financially secure, attract the person of our dreams, have an amazing body, and be wittier and more appealing. The idea is to cause us to want and to feel like our wants and desires are really our needs.
We are bombarded by somewhere between 500 and 3,000 advertising and marketing messages each day, all of which appeal to our need for acceptance, love, and personal betterment. No wonder we edit ourselves for public viewing! I don’t know about you, but I’m no super model; in fact, my youngest daughter wants to submit me as a candidate for “What Not to Wear.” Now Google and other sites on the Web are tailoring advertising specifically to my searches and browsing history. Oh, brother!
Thankfully, I have reached an age and stage where I really like the real me more than the edited versions of my younger years. What I’ve discovered by trial and error is that most of the time when you accept who you are and start feeling comfortable in your own skin, not only will others be more likely to accept you, but they’ll also feel more comfortable letting you meet their own authentic self.
You, dear friend, were uniquely created, and there is no one exactly like you. You were created for a purpose, you have a reason to exist and much to give to the world. If you haven’t stopped editing your innermost self, please consider doing so now.
Only when you let your real self shine through can you achieve what you are called to do and be who you are designed to be. Drop the masks, quit the posturing, ignore the ads, forget the perfection you will never achieve, and let your beautiful soul shine through.
Live, my friend. Live life in your own wonderful skin. Learn, laugh, love, give, share, and be real. Be you and believe that you are here for a purpose. Don’t settle for anything less than the real you. Give thanks for who you really are.