I was in a warehouse that had been converted into a business space. It was a unique, interesting and intriguing place to go as a customer. I liked the stained and polished floor so much I took a picture. It might sound strange but this space reminded me that what we like about people are the unique and interesting things about them. Their stories, their experiences, their different ways of thinking and how they allow us to be ourselves because they are their own genuine self. When people feel free to be themselves it gives us permission to be ourself as well.
I then went to the grocery store and noticed many of the magazines you see at the check out counter and how similar all the people on the covers look. Perfect skin without pores or wrinkles, slender, fashionable outfits and hair, and they portray the image that you too need to look this way. It hit me that we are bombarded with images and icons what push us to look like everyone else when what attracts us to others is how they are different and unique like that segment floor. The two don’t jive which is why I see and hear men and women wondering how they fit in when they don’t look or act or appear like everyone else.
This reminded me of an E.E. Cummings quote – To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting. Being ourselves is a daily battle against what we know about ourselves and what the world tells us we should be. Knowing how to navigate that means embracing our wrinkles, gray hairs, body size shape and color as well as the way our heritage has crafted our appearance. It means embracing the cracks and crevices of our personalizes, skills and talents while being able to bring out the best in others and allowing them to be their won genuine self.
So today I encourage you to celebrate your own uniqueness. Embrace the wrinkles, freckles, highs and lows of your appearance as well as the talents and shortcomings of your own abilities. Know who you are and allow yourself to be that genuine version of yourself. Do it ALL day – at work, at home, in your community and with your family. It means giving up making other people happy at the expense of being your true self. It means not caring what other people think or if they like you. It means liking yourself enough to not care what other people think. It means embracing yourself and letting others know you as a true and complete version of yourself. Take advantage of what you bring and allow others to do the same. Be the cement floor that brings character and uniqueness to everything you do today.