Caitlyn Jenner has blown up this Summer, perhaps overly so. Michael Sam and Jason Collins were the talk of last Summer, perhaps overly so. If you’re on the conservative side of the fence, you may find their courage to be self-exploitive and their choices downright sinful. If you’re on the liberal side of the fence, you may have celebrated along side them until you read the 2 billionth article and now you’re just numb to it.
But here’s the thing and there’s really no way around it. Unlike her celebrity family, Caitlyn Jenner isn’t blowing up because of sex tapes and really bad relationships gone commercial. She is blowing up because she was courageous enough to finally be herself.
What a powerful thing and one that average Joe’s and Jane’s like us could stand to embrace. As coming out of the closet is becoming more commonplace and gets its due attention for the courage it instills in others, what would it take for you to come out of your shell?
How often do you truly SWIM Backwards (Say What I Mean and Mean What I Say) because you’re confident enough to do so?
How often do your friends and family see the real you that lurks underneath that beautiful skin?
We really love to gossip about who may or not be hiding something about themselves, see Tom Cruise and John Travolta, long rumored to be gay men suppressed under the Scientology bubble. But we don’t really know who these men are. The real question is, what are we hiding about ourselves? And why do we choose to do so?
There are 7,000,000 plus people in the world and only one you. And me. And he. And her. If we’re not busy being us, who are we trying to be and to what end? Humor me for a moment and ask yourself these five questions:
1. How many times did I adjust today? Meaning, how many times did I want to do or say one thing but instead did or said a different thing?
2. How many of those friends that you spend time with truly support and appreciate the real you?
3. Do you absolutely love who you are and how you show up in the world every day?
4. If you were doing something (job or hobbies) that made you really happy what would it be?
5. Why am I answering these questions? What might they help uncover?
We believe what we see and we believe what we hear. Putting this phrase into perspective, the ‘we’ are people that look up to us. They work side by side with us. We go on dates with and get to know them. And they are friends, families and lovers who are supposed to be the closest to us. What do they see and what might they emulate? The real you or the you that’s adjusting because you’re not fully confident in who you are?
I find you to be original and I don’t even know you. What I do know is that if you talked to a set of identical twins and dug deep into their personalities, they could cite thirty distinctions between them before a stopwatch hit sixty seconds. I also know that you are admired for traits I could only dream about possessing. I know this because I see the same in myself. There are things I do well and things I do not do well, but I own them either way. And, in doing so, I own who I am.
All of this said, let me leave you with a thought. Few things are as disarming as self-identification, self-awareness and self-deprecation. No one can truly get under your skin for observations, thoughts or feelings that you have already and proudly owned. So own it! And answer those questions.
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