Monday, September 22, 2014

Be Your ^Best Self

A prevelant theme in current popular thought is how important it is to just "be yourself." We're done with the overwhelming expectations of society, the unattainable ideals, and the narrow definition of both "acceptable" and "in." We are who we are, we're good enough, smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like us just the way we are. As I raise my children in this brave new world, I am grateful that they are reinforced with acceptance for their uniqueness, that they are taught to love themselves and not be ashamed of what makes them "different" from their peers. However, when I see the mantra "Be Yourself" engraved motto-like on posters and book covers, I always want to insert a little carat symbol and make one small change. I'd like it to read, "Be Your Best Self." We certainly should not overwhelm ourselves with expectations that are currently out of reach, but on the other hand, we can not fall into complacency in our quest to feel content with who we are at this moment. We have to find the balance between self satisfaction and self motivation, so that we are at peace with where we are, but are always reaching for something better. I could easily look at my shortcomings (housekeeping, lack of patience, or selfish use of my free time) and say, that's just who I am. I'm being myself. Don't knock me for having flaws. I could go on in my ways without the unnecessary stress of having to overcome something that is just part of my nature. Nobody's perfect, and that's okay. Well, it is, but not in the long term. I still have faith in people's power to change. I think we owe others that faith, and we certainly owe ourselves that faith. It may be a long and very gradual road, but I believe it is the only true path to lasting happiness and peace with ourselves.

Image courtesy of Matt Banks at

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