“The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be.”
– Leo Buscaglia, a.k.a. “Dr. Love”
Being me. What in the world does that mean? I thought I was being me by being what other people wanted and expected me to be. I looked like I had it all: A good marriage, happy and healthy children, and I lived in a nice house with 2 nice cars. Actually, that worked for a long while. I looked at the content of my life and I thought, “I’ve done what I was suppose to do! Good job!” The problem was, I thought being the “good girl” and doing “what I was suppose to do” would mean I would be “HAPPY” too. But what I felt inside was restless, resentful, and angry. I blamed those around me for how I was feeling. Thank God before I suffered too long in the blaming of others I had a realization that the only person who could make me happy was me, and the only way I had an inclining that could happen was through working with a therapist. (And thanks to my parents who had done some therapy in the mid ‘70’s and allowed me to see and feel the changes in their lives and in our family.)
So in 1991, I started on this unplanned journey to discovering who I really was. When I began, I was so used to feeling what I “should” feel or “shouldn’t” feel that I had no feeling words to describe what I was really feeling. My therapist literally had to hand me a sheet with 50 feeling words (and corresponding facial expressions) so I would find how I felt. Wow! What a concept. What was “I” feeling? The road I have traveled over the past 22 years would definitely not be, in many cases, the road I was “expected” to or was “suppose” to travel, including doing the job of counseling or teaching, which I love so much.
So, learning what I really feel, learning what I really like and learning what I don’t like (which I actually learned first), has guided me down the path of being who I really am. Now that I know who I am –most the time– I stay out of the misery and suffering of what others want me to be or what I “should” be. It really is surprisingly easy! As we say around here at The Estuary, “Returning from my ‘middle chair’ to my ‘adult chair’” frequently throughout the day, there is an ease in living my life. I stopped trying to be who others wanted me to be, which only left me angry, frustrated, and resentful. The biggest lesson I have learned is, as Leo Buscaglia said, “The easiest thing in the world to be is me.”