Motivation Monday: Be Your Nature

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

We Are Not Meant To Be The Same

Nature, I have noticed, is not particularly devoted to copies, and human beings needn't be, either. ~ Alice Walker.I lost what attachment I had to the image others might have of me, since I learned decisively that this is an area over which I have little control.

The above is from Alice Walker in The Same River Twice, written about her journey in writing the screenplay for The Color Purple after having won the Pulitzer Prize for the novel.

While I can’t relate to her exact experience, I can relate to the feelings that go along with her experience.

As we move through life, people around us learn who we are and what we’re made of. They create an image of us and who they think we are. They expect us to stay the same, to hold true to that image they’ve created. And when we don’t, they lash out—some out loud, some only in their minds—all the while, we’re just trying to be ourselves.

The image others have of you. How often does that image change? Which actions of yours change it? What control do you truly have over that image? I tend to agree with Alice Walker in that I have little control (if any at all). It could be as simple as someone being moody, deciding that behaviors that were in perfect alignment with their image of me yesterday are no longer suitable today. And poof.

That simply will not do. Anais Nin comes to mind (it’s cliché for a reason):

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom

At some point it becomes to painful to live up to someone else’s image of who we are. At that point we must learn to let go of that attachment. What good does it do to hold on to it, anyway? (I don’t say this lightly, as if it’s an easy task; I do, however, say it in earnest.)

Letting go of someone else’s image of you just makes good sense. Think about how many people you know. Even if you just go with close friends and/or family I’m guessing you know five people. That’s five images you’re trying to keep up with, keep track of, fall in line with.

What if you simply keep to the image you hold of yourself?

I am not interested in being a role model, or in fulfilling the expectations of others. I know I am of most use to others and to myself by being this unique self: Nature, I have noticed, is not particularly devoted to copies, and human beings needn’t be, either.” [Emphasis mine]

It’s in our nature to be different from everyone else. Of course we’re all human beings and we all have similarities, something in common. And you all have something—maybe many things!—that makes you uniquely you. That’s the part that nature doesn’t shy away from. A redwood tree doesn’t try to be like the trees it’s surrounded by; it stands in its own magnificence without making any apologies.

Don’t worry about being a role model. Don’t worry about fulfilling the expectations of others. Don’t devote yourself to a copy of anyone else. Be of the most use to yourself and others by devoting yourself to being wholly, authentically, uniquely YOU.

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