Mar 20, 2023

Be authentically YOU!

 This happened in 2015. I started to mingle with a group of women. One of them had invited all of us for an evening meet-up. A bottle of wine was opened. I had never tasted wine (or any other type of alcohol) before that day. But since everyone was having it and I wanted to become part of the group, I decided to join in. To be honest, it tasted horrible, like unsweetened cough syrup and there was a burning sensation in my throat. After a couple of sips, I couldn't drink it any further.

No one in the meet-up forced me to drink wine, yet I decided to change myself to feel accepted among new friends. Later in that week, I questioned myself, "Why would you want to change yourself? A real friend would accept you for who you are".

That was the first and last time I ever sipped alcoholic beverages.

During my school and college days, there were times when a few classmates mocked me for being "too thin", along with other not-so-kind comments (body shaming happens to thin folks too!). Such comments affected me quite a bit.

When I entered my 20s, I consciously chose to remain authentic and love/accept myself for who I am - be it physical looks, values, and principles. On those few occasions (like the wine example above), when I tried to change myself for approval or validation from others, it immediately didn't feel right.

Staying authentic is only possible through self-love. It offers multiple benefits:

  • Few really deep friends who "get" you for who you are
  • High self-esteem
  • Courage to try out new initiatives
  • No background anxiety about "what others would think of me"
  • Expressing yourself freely without the need to impress anyone

While reading "Happiness Unlimited", this passage highlighted the importance of staying true to ourselves:

"We keep changing our behavior according to everyone else. Because of this, we tend to forget our original qualities.....I colored my personality according to everyone else's personality."

Be authentically YOU!

It is much more needed in today's times when modern society is trying to fit us into standard moulds that can be grouped, classified, and interpreted using data, which then makes it easier for thoughts to be programmed and fed.

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