Today’s post was inspired by the release of a documentary about the late Whitney Houston. Reportedly, the title, “Can I be Me?” was a question she often repeated to those in her inner circle. No doubt many of us have asked ourselves this same question; however, it may indicate some sort of inner struggle to live a life of being who we are supposed to be. Even social media is constantly barraging us with posts such as “don’t let others stop you from being you!”
It’s only natural to want to be “me” and we get upset at the times when we feel we are not. Others who are perceived as “being themselves” are admired and lauded for having the courage to do so. Fortunately, one of the benefits of being human is that we have the capacity to change future behaviors. However, I believe that “Can I be me?” is not the question we should be asking ourselves.
I recall driving with a good friend of mine and she asked me a question which I was not expecting. “Now that you are divorced”, she began, “do you feel more like yourself?”
Our friendship began while I was married and she saw me go through many struggles and helped me through some as well. Pausing briefly, I answered her with a question. “Are you the same person you were 5 years ago?”
“No”, she quickly answered.
“What about a year, six months, or a month ago; are you the same person?” Her answer didn’t change.
“We are constantly changing”, I reminded her, “So is ‘being who I am’ the question I should be asking myself?”
It is not so much a concern about “being me” but rather understanding who I am and also am becoming. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are ALWAYS “me”. Even at those times when we look back and said, “I should have been stronger”, we were still “me”.
The key is to learn from our mistakes and change future behavior. Not by beating ourselves up but rather becoming aware of the hurt our actions caused so the next time a similar situation arises, we can choose to be that “me” we will admire. We will always be “me” but that person is also constantly changing and growing. Start asking yourself who is the person you want to become and watch yourself soar.
Thank you and I look forward to your comments.