"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." - Vincent Van Gogh

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Embrace Thyself

Here is a picture of a soon to be college freshman resting happily in his room and playing a video game on a TV set hidden behind mounds of clutter. While filling out his college roommate questionnaire his response to the question " How neat do you like your room?" He checked the box that said "VERY NEAT". His parents, in glancing over his answers stopped on that one and said "REALLY???" and he said "Yes, I like my room neat!" and they said "But you won't have a maid there to clean your room. The only way you can have it neat is to do it yourself and judging from your room cleaning history, you may want to reconsider that question!" 

Do you embrace yourself? Are you someone who values your health, and yet can't leave the supermarket without buying ice cream or makes quick stops to the yellow arches? Does your decorating style reflect your personality? Do you enjoy the friends you keep? Do you like your neighborhood? Is your job fulfilling and does it reflect your abilities? Does your clothing reflect your personality?

What stands in your way from really being who you are - from being REAL? In my experience there are usually three reasons. 

FINANCIAL AND TIME CONSTRAINTS. I put this one first because it's sometimes the one that most people have the least control over. You may be hemmed in on every side but see if you can find some "wiggle room" in there to meet your goals. It may mean you must give up some short term gratification in order to meet a long term goal.

LAZINESS. Often it's a lack of discipline that keeps us from really being ourselves. It takes a great deal of effort to be "all that we can be".  It's easier to watch TV than work out. Grabbing a burger at the fast food joint down the street takes far less time than going to the grocery store, standing in line, taking the beef home, making patties and putting them on the grill. Which burger would you prefer? Which life would you prefer?

FEAR. Fear of failure. Fear of intimacy. Fear of letting others down. Fear of letting go. Fear of criticism. Fear of rejection. Fear... fear... fear.... Fear makes us shut down so that we don't go for what we want or need. A real, fulfilled life cannot be lived in fear, but with a pioneer spirit. Fear will block you from ever reaching your potential! How would you like to be defined, "fearless", "brave", "strong" or "cowardly"?

Does the "room of your life" reflect you today? If not, re-evaluate things and make some changes... it's good for the soul!

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