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?


About rabbiisa

I'm a Reform Rabbi with a passion for education! I'm also a pop culture fan, political junkie, and NY Times crossword puzzle addict. I am INTP, a proud member of Red Sox Nation, and a fan of the Oxford Comma.

3 responses »

  1. les says:

    You wrote, “To not try to be someone else.”

    Maybe it’s a psychological problem you have. It certainly makes no sense to try to be someone else because it’s physically impossible. So where did the urge to be someone else come from? When we say every morning “Modeh Ani” upon awakening, we thank God for returning our souls. Note – “OUR souls, for God could just as easily have given back someone else’s soul. So each of us are thankful to be ourselves!

    • rabbiisa says:

      Perhaps I seemed too literal. I’m not sure I know anyone, adult or young person, that doesn’t strive to be something else in some way. To be more something or less something…to be more like someone they look up to. I think most of us do that, throughout our lives. It’s part of human nature. I think the challenge is to find admirable traits in others, and look up to them, which trying to balance those ideas with the essence of ourselves. I don’t think it’s so much a psychological problem as a common thought process and life challenge. Prayer doesn’t work for mer, personally, that way, but I’m glad that it is successful for you in finding a way to be your authentic self. We all find our process.

    • rabbiisa says:

      I know very few, if any, people that don’t have such feelings–of wanting to be more whatever or less whatever than they are. To live up to some sort of potential, instead of being who they are. Yes, ideally, we are thankful to be ourselves–but that isn’t always easy.

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