“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

How often we have heard, “Just be yourself and you’ll be fine.”  How often have we dismissed the sage and simple advice as nonsense, as we stubbornly try to stuff our size eight personality into a size seven box?  We cannot be any more or less than ourselves, whether we like ourselves or not.  So, why not learn to like yourself?  Better yet, why not embrace and celebrate yourself as the uniquely inspired and fabulous creature that you are?  You, who were handcrafted by God your creator and are well-loved?

When we are born, we innately know who are are, and our likes and dislikes.  Give a baby a bite of disliked food and the results will illustrate the fact that we are born with an innate sense of ourself.  Only as we grow and are taught to conform to societal rules do we become disconnected from ourselves.  Throughout childhood and school, we learn to fit-in with the crowd or suffer the burden of isolation.  Society teaches us well, and in the process, we can become so focused on fitting-in that we no longer recognize or know who we truly are.

We all will eventually arrive at the pivotal moment of standing up for ourselves, our beliefs, our likes and our dislikes, where we must choose to either pay the price of exclusion and expulsion from our “friends” and co-workers, or tamp-down and hide our true selves.  In the pivotal moments where we choose to be ourselves, we create a deep and lasting bond that builds a bridge back to the heart of ourselves, to the essence of who we truly are.  In those pivotal moments, we grow and learn to rely on ourselves.  We begin to re-learn our own beauty.  We learn to respect ourselves again and in the process, recognize and appreciate our individuality.

We cannot truly shine or share our innermost light with the world until we come back to and make peace with ourselves.  We are together with ourselves for life.  We cannot be someone else; we can only be authentically ourselves.  Rejoice! Celebrate!  Honor and love yourself!  You are special and you have talents and skills that need to be shared.  Come back to your true self and offer an accepting hand of friendship.  You may be surprised to discover an old friend in the process.