tiff do what you want to, girl
but be what you are
there ain’t no right or wrong way
just play it from the heart

it ain’t a sign of weakness, girl
to give yourself away
because the strong give up and move on
while the weak give up and stay

do you believe
in hot cars leather bars movie stars, is that what’s real
pay your dues
in earth shoes chicago blues is that how you feel
you can change, you can change, you can change
but you can’t conceal
what’s deep inside you
it’s your game, your deal, your game, your deal

do what you want to do
but be what you are

– Hall & Oates

So many of us make ourselves unhappy trying to be what we’re not. Trying to remake ourselves to be what we think we should be, what we think others want us to be.

Instead, we need to learn to love ourselves, for what we really are — precious, unique, talented, lovely, magical, caring, charming, attractive, complete individuals. We need to learn to help ourselves, believe in ourselves, instead of relying on others to create our self-image, our sense of purpose and meaning and value.

We need to find hobbies that we enjoy for their own sake, that we can do alone, that fill us with joy and a feeling of accomplishment. We need to learn to get pleasure in our own company, in the workings and wonder of our own bodies, in the imagination and capacity for discovery and learning our own minds, in the awesome power and sensitivity of our senses, in the incredible depth and mystery of our unfathomable emotions.

We need to do things for ourselves. Pamper ourselves in a hot scented bath surrounded by candles and music we love, accompanied with wine and literature we love. Look in the mirror uncritically and smile and get enchanted, even aroused, at what we see. Treat our bodies, our minds right by finding exercises for them that are challenging and varied and fun. Get delight from having someone else look after us unselfishly for awhile. Learn something new and take pride in the accomplishment. Show off something about ourselves we know is exceptional, and revel in the pleasure it gives others.

We need to refuse to put up with people who put us down, and make such people pariahs, invisible until they come to grips with their negativity and learn to be human.

And once we`ve mastered that we need to pay this most important life lesson forward. We need to show others that they’re special and lovable, too. We need to smile at them and compliment them and really look them in the eye and tell them something wonderful about themselves, flirt with them but without dishonesty or motive. We need to shine the mirror of self-love back at them so they can see themselves as extraordinary, perfect.

Why is this so hard to do?

Postscript: The young lady pictured is my step-daughter, of whom I am immensely proud. She took this message to heart many years ago.

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3 Responses to HELP YOURSELF

  1. kara says:

    What an empowering post

  2. Dave Pollard says:

    Thanks, Kara, and welcome back. We’ve missed you these last two weeks.

  3. Marie Foster says:

    In a way I think it is like music. Too often people do not speak what they write. I think if they did that, our writing would be a lot better. But then I had a minor in speech. I guess I am prejudiced.

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