I just love the wit and wisdom of Dr. Seuss. This one just really hit me recently because it reminds me of how so many of us go through our lives in worry of what others think. Growing up in the deep South, I was painfully aware of what was expected of me. It seems that I spent much of my time and energy as I grew up through junior high, high school and college consumed with the opinion of others. Looking back I see how senseless that was.
I had learned the skills for saying what I was thinking and feeling, usually with a twist of sarcasm. That only works well with the few people who know you well enough to "get" your sarcasm. Those people would fall into Dr. Seuss' category of those who matter and don't mind. True friends. People that can offer unconditional acceptance.
I think perhaps the most important idea in this quote is to just "be who you are." We grow up as someone's daughter or son, then become someone's wife or husband and then move right on into the expectations that come with becoming a mother or father. Over the last few years, I have been fortunate to finally be comfortable with who I AM. This acceptance of ourselves can be the key ingredient to improving our mental health and quality of life. I have learned these things about myself and basically accepted them...at least most of the time. How about you? What are you doing on a daily basis to be true to yourself (and Dr. Seuss) to be who you really are?
- not a morning person...never have been and likely never will be
- someone who expects to be treated as I treat others and continue to be shocked and amazed when I'm not
- dedicated to helping the lives of others, be it my grown children, my husband, my parents and my clients and friends. I want the people around me to be happy and try to do what I can to make that happen.
- a leader. Unlike many, two of my grown children included, I am comfortable speaking to a crowd of2 or 200. But I like to be prepared.
- a hard worker. From my parents I developed a good work ethic growing up and never knew there was an option to not work or to not get a college education....it was just what we do.
- a lover of photographs. I believe that they can capture memories that you will never have again. We never know when we take a photograph how the winds of change can whip around us so quickly, changing everything. It's the part of Facebook I love the most---to connect and share with friends and family and to SEE people that I might not ever see any other way.
- sensitive....beneath what may appear to some to be a tough exterior is someone who feels the heartbreak of those around her. I cannot bear to see my daughters cry. In my work as a therapist, there are occasions when I feel the pain of my clients so deeply that I find myself wiping tears away too.
- independent. To be who I am, I have traveled down a lot of roads and had many life experiences that help me to empathize with others. It's funny because there are times when this trait works against me because sometimes I just want someone to hold me and take care of me for a bit.
- happy. I'm not sure how and why I'm at this place in my life right now, but it is a good place to be and I'm very thankful for that. I feel safe and secure, healthy and strong....well, for the most part on the healthy thing.
So, Dr. Seuss, I salute you and will try to remember your wisdom in the days ahead! You should try this exercise too.
Make a list that begins, "I am...." and see what YOU come up with!