I want to be me. Yep, all of my imperfections, quirky likes and dislikes, strange and sarcastic sense of humor as well as my sense of style in clothing and in the home, all together is what makes me…. well, it makes me, Me. And as the song goes, “I’m happy!” I can confidently say that I don’t want to be anybody else.
I couldn’t always say that all I wanted was to be me. In the 60’s when I was but a wee lassie, I remember watching Laugh-In and wanting to be like Goldie Hawn when I grew up. She was just so darn cute with those precious little dimples, infectious giggle, blonde hair and the ability to make other people laugh.
Laugh ins, sit-ins, and love-ins ushered in the groovy, keep-on-truckin, and DYNO-MITE 70’s of Farrah Fawcett. I wanted her hair, her voice and for a while her husband. I mean who didn’t love Lee Majors? Sorry, I was never a Ryan O’Neal fan.
Me, my “Farrah-do” and my man.
Now as I move into the 80’s and ask who would have been my wannabe woman icon, it gets a bit harder. The big hair, the slouchy holes-in-your-shirt type fashion and MTV stars really don’t leave a girl with many to choose from. In fact I can think of only one. Princess Diana. But, rest assured, I NEVER wanted her husband. Not every prince is charming.
Charm school has slowly become an institution of the way distant past as we look into the 90’s. Anna Nicole Smith, Monica Lewinsky and Madonna come to mind, and wasn’t Sharon Stone’s no-panty chair scene in this decade? I’ve never aspired to being a slut, so where to look in the 90’s?
It was during my 30’s and the 1990’s that I began to look inward a bit more. Perhaps it was because of maturity or more likely because there were fewer women to look up to, but my 30’s were the beginning of my awakening. Was this your “aah-hah ” decade, too? Of course there’s Mother Theresa, Oprah Winfrey and Hillary Rodham Clinton that some would name, but I’m sorry – not me. While I respected Mother Theresa and her most generous heart, I just didn’t aspire to be her either. Oprah? I’m just tired of her – period. And for Hillary to have not been some “Tammy Wynette, baking cookies and standing by her man,” woman, she sure did do just that in one of the most publicly humiliating marriage spectacles of all time. I don’t know how you can claim to be all for women’s rights and then be so dependent on “your man” to get where you want to be politically.
D-I-V-O-R-C-E would have been political suicide, so she chose to stand by her man and bake her self-respect, instead.
Also, at the ripe old age of 54, I have discovered that concentrating on building self esteem in the place of self-respect is empty and hollow and will echo heartache time and time again. It is NOT for the sake of their self-esteem that we praise others, but for the encouragement and appreciation of the esteemed action that was taken. There is a difference.
There is an industry out there now that continues to cater to the “self-esteem” mantra. There are webinars, seminars, books, and videos that help us focus more on our own self esteem than ever before. And now I’m going to shock you. I’m going to crush your dreams and destroy your hopes.
We cannot buy an image no matter how much consulting is involved. There is no amount of life coaching that pays the same dividends as plain old self respect. We really cannot re-create ourselves. People, including you and me, do not change, short of a miracle from Heaven or a mid-life crisis.
So, my suggestion for that mid-life crisis… Let’s not spend our hard earned money on a style coach, an image consultant, a life coach or a library of self-help books. Let’s not choose to look to stars, political figures or princesses to find our personal aspiration. Instead, let’s look in the mirror and respect what we see. The Almighty Creator made us who we are and HE deserves praise for ALL of HIS creation. As we turn away from that mirror and help others to do that too, it will be an act of praise that will result in honor to our Creator, which in turn creates self respect. Isn’t God smart? In my experience, the more focus that is put on others, the better I feel about myself. Pure and simple.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)
And if you are ever unhappy with who you are becoming, don’t spend money for self-improvement. Save it for the home or better yet, someone else’s home and as far as your personal style or image is concerned… Remember this….
Bootstraps come in all different sizes and they and prayer are all we really need to pull ourself through most crises. I think I’ve discovered the difference between self-esteem and self-respect. I like being me. I don’t worship me, but I like who God has spent 54 years molding me to be.
And, might I add that you are so smart for reading this blog. Intelligence also builds self-respect. How was that for showing appreciation of an esteemed action? Was that boastful or did I make you feel smart?
Now I’m confused.