Great Pretenders

What if we could all be ourselves—truly ourselves—not who we try to be for others, or even who we pretend we are in our own minds?

One of my favorite bloggers, Gretchen Rubin, has a series of personal commandments that she believes make her happier when she obeys them.  Her first is “Be Gretchen.”  On the surface, this may seem simplistic or trite.  But I think she’s really onto something, something that most of us miss from day to day.

She talks about how important it is to recognize ourselves for who we truly are—not who we wish we were.  She talks about the grief of recognizing that there are areas where we will never truly be all that we want to be, and the freedom that comes from that recognition.  She talks about the fulfillment that can be found in allowing ourselves to be real—with others, but first and foremost with ourselves.

Are you trying to be something you’re not?  Are you killing yourself to be perfect in some area of your life?  Do you try to convince yourself that if you just put in a little more effort, a little more self-discipline, you can achieve some unrealistic (or unnecessary) goal?  Does all this effort actually add any happiness or fulfillment to your life, or do you find—like me—that all of this “pretending” brings more burden than it does benefit?

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