Be Yourself?

A quote on Facebook read:

Be yourself.  An original is always worth more than a copy.

At first glance, I thought – nice advice.  Second glance prompted two questions.

  1. What does it mean to “be yourself”?
  2. How many of us would recognize our true self if we came face to face with it?

A friend recently said:

This is who I am.  Deal with it.

My question…why should I have to?

Or…why would I want to?

Quotes encouraging us to “be yourself” abound.  A quick online search reveals site after site dedicated to collecting quotes about being yourself.

To save you the trouble of googling, I’ve selected a few.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ― Oscar Wilde

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

“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.” ― Judy Garland

“About all you can do in life is be who you are. Some people will love you for you. Most will love you for what you can do for them, and some won’t like you at all.” ― Rita Mae Brown

“Don’t you ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can’t be exactly who you are.” ― Lady Gaga

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

“be yourself- not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.” ― Henry David Thoreau

“Just be yourself, there is no one better.” ― Taylor Swift

“Never complain, never explain. Resist the temptation to defend yourself or make excuses.” ― Brian Tracy

“The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don’t let them put you in that position.” ― Leo Buscaglia

“Do your own thing on your own terms and get what you came here for” ― Oliver James

“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” ― Dolly Parton

“You are you. Now, isn’t that pleasant?” ― Dr. Seuss

“To be one’s self, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity.” ― Irving Wallace

“Oh, never mind the fashion. When one has a style of one’s own, it is always 20 times better.” ― Margaret Oliphant

“One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

“If you believe in peace, act peacefully; if you believe in love, acting lovingly; if you believe every which way, then act every which way, that’s perfectly valid – but don’t go out trying to sell your beliefs to the system. You end up contradicting what you profess to believe in, and you set a bum example. If you want to change the world, change yourself.” ― Tom Robbins

Ah, and the quotes go on and on…so many interesting things said about “being yourself” and being wonderful you.

I wonder….

  1. How can I be anyone other than…ME?
  2. What “me” do people see?
  3. Would I be able to pick my self out of a lineup?
  4. How well do I know my self?
  5. Why do I prefer to be like someone else and not embrace who I am?
  6. Who am I?  And, why?
  7. Why would I settle to be me when I can become better than who I am?

For those who claim the Way of Jesus, it’s not a matter of being more yourself, or of embracing the “real you.”  It’s more a matter of setting self aside and becoming more like Jesus.

Why settle for being yourself when you can be so much more?

Instead of self discovery, why not invest in Jesus discovery.  Find out what Jesus taught, how Jesus lived, who Jesus was…is.

Be myself? No thanks. Why would I want to settle for that?  I’d rather be Jesus. You would probably prefer Jesus’ way to my way, too.

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