One of the harder lessons of life, that I’m still learning, is to be me. To not try to be someone else. To not try to live up to standards that have been set by another. To not try to satisfy the scripts that often run through my brain. One of my favorite albums as a kid was Free to Be You and Me. Perhaps I got even then that I needed the lesson:
I have learned to be me and to love me: to love my life and my body and my self and my ideas and my thought process. But it’s not always easy. There are so many voices out there offering to change all that for, what they assume, is for the better. “Let me help you lose weight,” “How can I help you find a boyfriend,” “so you’re doing education–can I help you find a job as a rabbi,” etc. And really, no. I have chosen my life and I like my life.
I get that people want to help. But what if we all learned to accept each others’ lives for what they are and assume that the person beside has made the choice to have that life, unless they tell us differently.
My life might not look like yours. My life might not look like I may have imagined it would be in childhood. But it’s what I embrace. I not only accept it, but I love it and embrace it and choose it. I choose to be my life.
What if this were a year in which we all were able to be in our own selves…and in which we were all able to not try to impose our own ideas onto the selves that others have embraced. Can we all be and let be?