I finally had a real night out. A chance to relax with no kids, wine and dinner! 🙂 And, during the evening the topic turned to this question: Should we (or can we) be our best selves every day, whether with our kids, friends, at work or with a partner? Can we be that “first date” person every day?
Let me be the first to admit that I’ve got a couple of selves. I’ve got one who is on time, considerate, loving, dresses (fairly) well, is not afraid to do for others and is (most often) transparent. I’ve got a second one who can be late, is not always nice, can be selfish, wears the most bizarre things to bed (don’t ask) and is a scaredy-cat. I’m constantly moving between these two selves, trying to climb away from one toward another.
So, I wondered out loud at dinner, why can’t I be my best self all the time? The answer is obvious. We aren’t one or another – we’re both. We have great days and not-so-great days. We can be nice and generous and cranky and fearful. It’s unrealistic to try to be a singular person. Frankly, when my not-so-great self crashes, it’s not pretty or fun…but it’s me and those who love me don’t let my crashes change how they feel about me. I hope that’s the same for you too.
One thing we discussed over dessert (I gave up giving up sugar!) was whether we had ever pretended to be something we’re not. For many years I pretended to fit into, even when I didn’t. Whether it was work, school or with a partner – I wanted to do it right all the time. It resulted in my not feeling entirely happy with where I was. It wasn’t until I stopped wearing “man” clothes at work, stopped pretending that I could get it all done all of the time (without a mistake) and when I stopped being afraid of being afraid, that I found my true (ves).
I’ve not always chosen to be with people who accept both my selves. Know what I’m talking about? And, that’s the biggest mistake of all. We must be with people who bring out our best selves and don’t mind our not good days and our fantastic days. If you are with people like that – cherish the experience. If not, then turn and walk away.
I’m not staying accepting “that” part of me is easy. In fact, I’ve often failed at accepting my flaws. But, quite honestly, from my flaws I’ve found some of my most instructive and interesting experiences (and I’m only 51!).
So, as I start the week (and a 21 day meditation project!), I’m going to work on accepting who I am … flaws and all. I challenge you to do the same.
Have a wonderful Monday!