Really, Who Are You?

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Today you are You, that is truer than true.  There is no one alive who is Youer than You. ~Dr. Seuss 

We all think that we are wonderful beings—my tags are evidence of this.  And it’s not that I think we shouldn’t.  To quote Ethel Waters, I know I’m somebody cause God don’t make no junk!  Pretending to have low self esteem is form of false pride.  While it appears to be humility, it is actually using martyrdom to attract attention. Sometimes we can get too full of ourselves (narcissism) and become blind to our faults and flaws.  But we are a mixture of good and bad–every single one of us.

 

I  do wonder if others would use the tags that I have used to describe me.  If not, I have a problem.  I suppose it is all a matter of perspective, but still, you should live your life in such a way that your beliefs and virtues shine through.

During my first year of teaching I had the ambivalent pleasure of working with Ms. Johnson, our English department head.  She was very good at her job.  She was highly competent and efficient as well.  She knew both her subject and her teachers.   However she was a force to be reckoned with–especially when she was in a bad mood.  Yes, Ms. Johnson was a mercurial Miss.  And sometimes she was downright rude.  Her mouth was most caustic and biting.  I often avoided the English office in fear that Ms. Johnson would be having a bad day.

 

She retired the next year much to my relief.  It meant no more walking on pins and needles.  Last year I did happen to run into Ms. Johnson at a funeral.  I approached her and gave her a hug and expressed my surprise at seeing her singing in the church choir.  She laughed and explained that she had been raised in the church.  She also said that people were often shocked that she was a Christian because of her rude demeanor.  Ms. Johnson went on to explain that after assessing herself that she realized that she was not Christian in her actions.  She concluded with more laughter saying “I spend too much time at church for it not to show!  So I’ve embarked on a character make-over!”  After that converstaion with her I developed a newfound respect  for my former boss.  I was impressed that she was able to recognize her actions spoke louder than her words.  There was an obvious disconnect between who she said she was and who she REALLY was. 

 

With this in mind I want to live my life in a way that my self-imposed tags are obvious to those around me.  It’s one thing for me to think well of myself, but if no one else does, then it is all for naught.  In the past, Eliza probably would have tagged me with the following labels: public enemy #1, control freak, children stealer, my footstool, new wife, second choice, arrogant witch, meddling missus, uneducated paralegal (this is a direct quote), gossip monger…ouch!, but she is entitled to her opinion.  However, I hope that her perspective of me has changed somewhat.  I have let my actions and character do all of the talking.  I realize that I am simply a work in progress falling with grace.  This is the way Bud Lightyear so eloquently summed up his lack of flying abilities–grace being the key word.

 

 

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5 responses »

  1. This is such an interesting post. When my friend, Suzanne, read my about me page she became really worried about me. She said that I boxed myself into these little compartments and that it didn’t really explain “me” at all (or something close to that.) In reality, I had just written it quickly and need to go back to expand it.

    I guess though my point is that we do often “say” we are something and words can’t possible reflect the complex beautiful beings God created. It is the “picture” or actions of how we live that really allow God to shine through us.

    Beautiful post. Have a wonderful day!

  2. You’re right. Actions do speak louder than words. But, even so…we see everyone from our own unique perspective, shaped by our own unique experiences and genetics. And just from this little fact, we will never know someone 100% and so I think it is unrealistic to expect everyone to see you as you see you. However, that doesn’t mean we should not try 🙂 I think your intentions are admirable! At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter how anyone sees you…it only matters how YOU see you and how your God sees you. Just my 2 cents worth…

  3. This is a great post. I could have written it. It echoes my sentiments exactly. It came to my attention that some people see me as unfriendly. I like to say that I’m just one of the people that you have to get to know. However, sometimes, I have to admit that I can be unfriendly when I am in a new environment. I know that I need to change this and present who I really am to the world.You hit the head on the nail. Keep up the good work.

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