For quite some time now I've felt like there was no possible way I would ever get my ducks in a row. Indeed, anytime I've felt close, something would happen and they would scatter and I'd have to run about herding them into at least a close proximity to one another.

I was also so focused on improving myself that I wasn't really living my life. 

This was, in part, because of an unhealthy relationship I had with a person. I falsely believed that I could change myself to be the perfect partner for them. Once I realized that the perfect partner for me wouldn't need me to change myself, I began to see the toxic elements of the relationship that once had me enthralled.

Now I'm not saying not to improve yourself. Indeed, we all have things we could do better. I know because of my personality type, I am highly empathetic but don't always deal with the emotions of others well. Most experts agree that personality is not something you can change about yourself. You can round off some hard edges to interact better with people, but you can't change who you are. You can develop new habits because those aren't part of the self. 

What is? Things like whether you derive your energy from being alone or with people. If you are a big picture/future oriented person versus someone who gets mired in weeds and what they are presently experiencing. Whether you are more concerned with people's feelings or the truth. Whether you are quick to make decisions or you prefer to keep your options open. And these are things we do most of the time but some situations cause us to react differently than usual.

Why would we want to be with someone who would force us to be a different person? It is probably the most destructive thing we can do to ourselves yet it is not uncommon. 

There are many lessons and things telling us to be ourselves when we are children. We are given different messages as we mature. Many of these messages tell us that to be successful we need to be like everyone else.

The self-help culture doesn't help either. It says we can do anything and be anyone if we only want to change bad enough. But the thing is, not everyone who writes a self-help book actually cares about the people reading it. Some just want money. They all sound convincing, though. They make you feel like you're a special snowflake. Because that sells those books like nothing else. Not all of them are like that, of course, but there are enough that make it hard to find the books that really are helpful.

I think it's crucial that we learn who we are before we try to change things about ourselves. Not things like quitting smoking. You are more than your cigarettes. You are more than the extra weight in your midsection

When thinking about self, I remember that visionaries stick out like sore thumbs. Tesla was a weirdo loner who may have died a virgin despite how many women wanted to be with him. His work was more important to him. Leonardo da Vinci dug up bodies and dissect human remains to better understand anatomy and improve his drawing skills. Rosa Parks refused to change seats on a bus. Steve Jobs didn't feel there was any reason why individuals wouldn't want a personal computer despite what some other computing companies thought. Look at where we are today with technology.

I'm not saying people of today should go around digging bodies up, sacrificing their sexual enjoyment, or putting their life on the line. What am I saying? Don't be afraid to embrace yourself with all of your quirks. There is someone out there that thinks you are perfect just the way you are AND will support any changes you make as you fumble about experiencing this whacky world we live in. Don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe in and take it as far as you are personally comfortable with.

I'm reminding people to be themselves.

Now that I'm not scrambling to line ducks up; they're lining themselves up. Now that I'm just being myself, life is getting better. So what or who are you holding onto that deep down you know is bad for you? What have you been doing to sabotage yourself? What have you been doing to hide yourself or pretend like you're someone else? 

Published by Raeanne Roy