“She knows who she is. She just forgot for a little while.”
Every now and then, we should take some time to check in with ourselves, examine who we think we are. Figure out who we’ve become. Not the person others say we are, not the person we were ten years ago, not even who we think we should be, but who we really are right now.
Sometimes, we need to ask that woman what she really wants.
I used to define myself by my career, by my family, my husband, and my public portrayal of who I am. But, to be honest, in the process, I lost a little of who I really am.
We all have a public persona that we project to the world and a private one that maybe only our nearest and dearest get to see.
Often, the heart of the present is in our past. We hold onto and believe things that are no longer true or relevant for us, yet we still try and project that image to the world.
Sometimes we need to ask why we feel a certain way.
Why do I feel ashamed? Embarrassed? Insecure?
Why do I work so hard to portray confidence, poise, pride?
We keep ourselves hidden because we’re terrified of what people will think of us if only they knew.
The irony is what we keep hidden is what we’re dying to know about others. There’s relief when we find out we’re not the only ones who feel that way.
More liberating is finding what we’ve seen as a negative in our own life might actually be a positive. Telling our story, showing up and being real can actually be helpful to others. Being real also helps us to figure out what we really want in life.
Congruence between our inner self-image and the one we portray to the world is real freedom.
I’m learning that to be myself, to be real, is enough. I may have quirky thoughts and may not conform to everyone’s idea of who I should be, but I am me—created to be the unique person I am and to contribute to the world in the unique way I was destined to.
Instead of trying to be someone else’s idea of perfect, or even the perfect me I sometimes fantasise about, I’m going to be the imperfect me—and that’s okay. In fact, that’s just perfect.
My husband once said to me, ‘You’re so beautiful.’
‘No, I’m not,’ I said, brushing him away like an annoying fly.
‘You are. I look at you through Elaine-coloured glasses and you’re beautiful.’
What can you say to that? That throwaway line has stuck with me for years and I wrote about it in my first book, Beautiful: beauty tips for the soul
In my favourite children’s book of all time, The Velveteen Rabbit the message is that being real is beautiful, worthy and valuable.
Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand. Margery Williams
We are our best when we are real. Let’s keep on keeping it real.