Recently I was having a conversation with a friend over lunch, and we began discussing what we liked in people; and she said to me that she liked me, because I was authentic. I pondered that for a while and I realized that it has taken me fifty LONG years to get to that point. Seems like I have always been trying to impress someone – my parents, teachers, coaches, friends, bosses….well basically everyone. I wanted to look a certain way, have a certain title, be recognized for achievements, and was just really always trying to please everyone else. I am a People Pleaser – always have been…always will be. I did realize that I could get my feelings hurt sometimes trying to please everyone though! I am often taken advantage of; but I have a better understanding of myself lately. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on who I really am and what I want to be. Sometimes, I really don’t like how I turned out and sometimes I feel so blessed. I realized when I take the positive side of things – I am happier. I have learned to find the lessons or the best practices in a situation instead of having regrets over how I could have done better. My goal now is to be my best and I realized that I really just need to please one and only one – that is GOD! The Bible tells us in so many verses to do what is pleasing to God.
1 Thessalonians (ESV) 4 Finally, then, brothers,[a] we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.
Ephesians 5:10 (GNT) 10 Try to learn what pleases the Lord.
Well – that is always my intention but I make mistakes – sometimes, not only am I not pleasing to God but I usually make others frustrated or mad too! We are only human! I am striving to be a better “me” and I am not comparing myself or competing with others. I used to always want to be the best – not just the best me, but the best at whatever I was doing. Now I just want to be the best I can be! I am trying not to compare myself or allow myself to have a pity party. I take pride in who I am and what I stand for. I have become so much bolder in my faith and I love it. Someone asked me to pray a non-religious prayer for a large event – I stressed all day – how do you do that? I didn’t want to offend anyone so I used careful words – it didn’t feel right. That one thing really impacted me so much! I have as much right to pray to my God and Jesus as they didn’t want me too. I don’t want to offend anyone but I want to be authentic and stand up for my beliefs. This year has been a real life lesson for me. I have changed…maybe I am finally mature at 50 – I don’t know but I am a different person. In certain areas of my life – I am not the go to person or the most popular or the friend to everyone like I used to be. I often feel isolated and even like the weird person that people make fun of from time to time. At first, it bothered me so much – then I realized that I need to control me and only me, and the situation would work itself out. I continued to be friendly, and do my work. I am still not included sometimes and I am definitely not the go-to person anymore; however, I take pride in the fact that I help others and do my job. Funny thing – I am not stressed anymore!
Being authentic is just being yourself – not trying to be like someone else. Being authentic is standing up for your beliefs without pushing them on others. Being authentic is being the best “you” that you can be in every situation….be the best friend, mom, wife, etc. Always do your best and show your care and commitment. I hate to make generalizations but I am going to right now. It seems that our society is focused on “What’s in it for me, instead of what can I do to make this a better place…” We need people to step up and step out and be authentic and show what they stand for and live for each moment and be their very best.
Blessings to you and prayers that you will learn to be authentic!