You would have heard people say, ‘I am most comfortable in my own skin’ This adage is absolutely true since you can be your own self not pretending to be somebody else when you adorn your own skin. Is it not true in today’s pretentious world that most people spend all their useful energy on projecting an unreal picture of themselves that is much displaced from their real self? Do you realise that when your life revolves around pleasing somebody else, it becomes imperative for you to be pretending to be a different person from what you actually are? In this situation, you might try to show yourself off as a very different person. Not just sometimes but all the time. It’s like wearing a mask. You might be apprehensive or fearful of projecting a true picture of yourself that is in some way an imperfect one and you feel highly disgraced and embarrassed to expose the same in front of your friends and acquaintances. Tell me, is there a perfect person on this planet? Then why do you think you have to be one? I believe that each one of us is an embodiment of some form of an imperfection that God has ordained for us. Living together with your imperfection, celebrating it rather than cursing, you can live your life in a carefree and blissful manner, not allowing even an iota of negative or an unsettling thought to enter your head. Only when you are yourself, you do not have to put up a false exterior or try copying or imitating who you are not. You can come along neat and clean, just the way you are and the way your heart desires. You can display your own self and not put on artificial makeup. Wouldn’t your body not be an abode of the free spirit that it is actually meant to be? Wouldn’t it be a thoroughly liberating act? If you try to be somebody else you might have to mug up words, thoughts, actions and behaviours of the person you are pretending to be. In this way, if you live a life of pretentions, you run a constant risk of forgetting and discarding your own self as well as not becoming the person you were pretending to be, a double whammy of sorts.
Each day there are numerous provocations, both personal and professional, that implore you to discard or change your likings, preferences, values, nature and personality. It is good, in so far as changing for the better is concerned. If it is for worse, then it is absolutely undesirable. Under less drastic conditions the basic fabric of which a person is made, may remain intact but he or she may undergo a change in some superficial features such as tastes, likings and preferences. It is quite expected as a person might get exposed to newer experiences, cultures, traditions and customs in day to day life and wanting to adopt some or all of them as per his or her choice. So, what’s wrong? Absolutely nothing. On the other hand, when those experiences are vicious and malicious, those that put others at risk or disadvantage, like one becoming conceited or insensitive, one who mocks or belittles others, such a metamorphosis is undesirable. Under sustained and severe pressure of drastic conditions like poverty, persecution, disease or ill treatment over a longer time period, mostly involuntarily, some of us may undergo a change in our personality and value system as well. We might have been sensitive and caring but no more. You should sit back and think with a cool head if you like the person you see in the mirror every morning. If you are not pleased at what you see, should you allow such a change to take effect? It’s time to take stock of the situation.
[ Also Read: Give peace a chance ]
Let us now turn our attention at others whom we love and care about. It is one thing to genuinely empathise with them and making genuine efforts at improving them by effecting behavioural changes in them and completely another thing to make them give up certain things forcibly just because you don’t like them. Did it ever strike you that in this process of effecting a change you might unsettle them beyond a degree that might hurt or agitate them, emotionally, mentally or even physically? Why would you not let them be the people they are? Is it because you feel shameful or embarrassed about how people in your circle look like or how they come across. ‘What kind of people has he or she befriended’ is the top most thought in your mind. May be, you are concerned about how would you show off your friend or acquaintances to others, especially one’s girlfriend or a boyfriend. Such people take offence if anyone resists changes suggested by them. And if you cannot be yourself in their presence or if they put a condition before they dole out their love and attention, I suggest, you find a new circle of friends. If they do not value, appreciate and celebrate you for what you are, it’s time to move on. They were never worth it. I would be most annoyed with a person who loves me not the way I am rather tries to change me into someone whom he or she likes.
Take me as I am