To be loved for who we are – isn’t that the thing for which we all long; to be accepted in full. Unconditional love; the type taught by the sages and great teachers. When we love another in this way, we look into them, not at them.
Many of us have spent our lives shape-shifting to suit the needs of others; to cater to the opinions of those we felt were important. All the while, never stepping into and accepting our true nature as it wasn’t recognizable, even by us. During an interview recently, I made a statement that I will pass on to my children, their children and all those willing to listen: If others ask you to change. Change the company you keep. Don’t change you. I stand by that statement and always will.
Those who judge will do so regardless of anything we do to fall within the guidelines of what’s deemed acceptable at that moment. And every time we shift to their whims, a piece of our identity slips further away.
My daughter came to me one day, and asked if she could dye her hair violet. The dye was temporary, but the independence the act gave her will last forever. Of course, I knew there would be those who would look down upon her. Then again, such is always the case. It takes a wise soul to know the issue is with the viewer, not with the one being viewed. Never dear reader, mold to fit the whims of those who look upon you. Because in time, you will start to see yourself through their eyes. You will question if you are good enough. And yet most who look down upon others do so only because they look down upon themselves; from somewhere deep within they question their worth. It is one of life’s greater truths. A truth we need to own in the same unshakable way we own the heart that beats within us. And by owning this deeper truth, we pass it on to our children; helping to stop the cycle of self-criticism and loathing.
For four weeks my young daughter walked boldly with her violet hair. I watched as others smiled at her. They saw in my daughter her vivacious spirit sprouting with life. I also watched those who offered her a raised critical eye. They saw in my daughter what they feared to be a wild child; one that should be kept tighter under wraps. I stood proudly by my daughter then, just as I do now that her chestnut hair is all one sees. I look into her, never at her. That’s what love does. I cherished every minute while I watched my daughter shun the dubious glares of others. It is a skill that will serve her well. Because she will never be a spirit that’s kept under wraps. I hope she has learned this from me. Or maybe she’s the one who’s taught me. I really can’t say.
Whatever your outer trappings, never change them for another. If you like to wear neon sneakers, walk with style. Or if you are content in khakis, wear them with confidence. But if like me, you stand out a bit in the crowd, then stand tall. I can’t change me. Although the action can be taken, to do so would be to deny who I am. And I rather like me. I’m an old soul that’s hopefully carrying out her last life. I have copper-red hair that flutters in the wind as I ride my Harley down the winding roads. But I am soft in ways that only few understand. My peaceful nature permeates the air around me. I look into people. And the precious few who stand beside me, seem to treasure these things about me.
So if you want to change you, dear readers – do so at your own discretion. Have fun with who you are. You are a magnificent being that is here with a purpose. And that purpose is not to please others.