Today for breakfast I got a dose of reality. This quote by Oscar Wilde was delivered to me with my morning tea and I am struck by how beautifully simple it is. It made me smile, and got me wondering why something that seems so obvious and matter-of-fact is so hard for us to accept.
Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.
So many of us spend much of our lives trying to fix or change ourselves to be better, different, or other than we are. We dedicate years to identifying all of the things that are “wrong” with us and then obsess over how to make the necessary changes so we can be the best version or ourselves. This sounds like a Catch-22. How can we be the best version of ourselves if we are constantly turning away from all that makes us unique and authentic?
The irony here is that most of us have only a limited understanding of who we truly are simply because we have (most often unconsciously) rejected or turned away from those parts of ourselves that we have deemed less desirable. To truly know ourselves, we will for sure bump up against some challenges, big and small. We may contact old wounds that have been buried and old beliefs that have held us back from truly living authentically. But as we begin to politely invite in all of these lost, forgotten, or rejected parts we begin to get better acquainted with them and gain a deeper insight and understanding as to what they most need to heal. The more willing we are to turn towards all that is hurt inside, the more we heal and the more able we are to move towards our truest potential. Once we are willing to accept all that is here, we grow a deeper intimacy and understanding of who we are and why we do what we do. And what naturally arises from this is a deep compassion for all the experiences that have helped to shape you into this most unique expression that is You.
To embrace our uniqueness does require strength, courage, perseverance, and commitment. But ultimately that’s the beauty of it. By doing so we get to contact these essential qualities that have always been here. The more willing we are to face all that is within us, the more clear things become and the more we live in truth. All that has clouded our vision lifts and we begin to walk through the world with eyes wide open. We can finally see ourselves as we actually are.
No one else can “do you” like you can. You are your own unique expression and it is your birthright to embrace all of yourself and to be everything that is meant for you.
This reminds me of a line from the well-known quote by author Marianne Williamson:
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?
Healing happens not when we deny ourselves the truth of our own authenticity, but when we welcome it with open arms. Celebrate it. And, anyway, what are your options? Everyone else is already taken.