When I was younger, I spent a considerable amount of time and energy on what I thought was the noble pursuit … of making myself taller. Yes, I knew all the tricks. I’d spend hours in the beauty parlor having my hair done in a style that was assured to help me look tall — unfortunately, I ended up looking like a pregnant bumblebee.I’d wear shoes with heels so high that I teetered on them precariously. I discovered certain designers whose clothes were carefully crafted with sleek lines to make even bowling balls look slim and lanky. So I’d buy these extra-long pants, which were supposed to make my legs look longer — but all they did was make me trip a lot.I walked around with constant foot trauma; spent hundreds of extra dollars on my clothes and hair and devoted countless hours of my time to shopping, primping, and fussing; and, of course, I used up enormous amounts of my psychic energy and attention in the pursuit of this illusion.Guess what? I’m still short!Of course, I’m also talking about being a very young woman who was trying to fit in, and who, often struggled with not enjoying being who she was. When I finally gave up trying to impress other people with the illusion of height, my life improved enormously. I no longer walked around in pain, I wore whatever clothes I liked, and I stopped trying to make my hair look voluminous.Acceptance of what is can be wonderfully liberating, but it can also create a great deal of inner peace and harmony. This is an incredibly difficult concept for a society that is constantly assaulting us with messages that most of us need some kind of a “makeover.” Not a day goes by without some ad telling us that we should be thinner, more successful, find our soul mate, be happier or live longer. These messages make it increasingly more difficult to simple “BE.”I love to consider ways of improving myself, but there comes a point where we have to realize that we simply can’t improve everything about our lives. In fact some of how we look and act make us uniquely different from one another. Those who really care about you will enjoy who you are, as you are, unless your behavior is harming you or others. I love the following quote by Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself, everyone else is taken!”
It appears that the culture we live in today is inundated with individuals who seem to have the answer to everything we do from how to breathe correctly to how to die. Human beings have been searching for answers since the beginning of time. But, the questions used to be more profound. Why am I here and what is my purpose?
Over the years those questions have somehow become part of the back drop for a plethora of individuals who offer answers to an incredible host of mediocre concepts. Books and blogs that encompass subjects that heretofore simply needed a good dose of self-reflection have become common place. If you want to be happy, and who doesn’t, you can find at least a thousand books on the subject. The problem is that you simply can’t be happy all the time. We do need the contrast of other emotions. Sick of individuals that are hard to get along with? Just look up “toxic people” and you’ll find tons of material on how to get rid of them. It could be everyone you know or it just might be that you’re the toxic one! Now that revelation might help the rest of us.
Can’t lose weight? Well we’re all aware of how many times have been written on that subject. Isn’t it interesting that the amount of diet books written have still not reduced obesity in America? We should all look like sticks. Relationships are a hot topic! How to find the right partner, how to train your partner to listen to you, and how to get rid of your partner seem to be quite popular. Want to be successful and be financially solvent? Well you can always find ten ways, thirty steps, fifteen things to avoid, and voila your life becomes easy and your bank account full.
Loving yourself is a very hot topic. If you can get to the place where you’re totally in love with yourself, you could actually date yourself and not have to read the book on finding a soul mate. I guess I need lots of help in this area. I don’t always love or like myself. It depends on the barometric pressure, whether I’ve slept well, or if my arthritis is in check.
What’s really missing is common sense. Only that’s too boring! Imagine if we all thought about what we’re doing and how it affected us and those around us? What would happen? We might actually be happier, lose weight, hang with decent people, find a like-minded partner and just maybe, we’d like ourselves a little better.