Are you one of those people who constantly say things like, “that’s just the way I am, and I can’t help it?” Maybe not, But I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase or something similar from folks before.
Particularly in a day and age where self-acceptance is highly promoted, statements like the above seem perfectly normal and justifiable. I am a huge supporter of being true to self, At the same time, I believe sometimes people use phrases like, “that’s just the way I am,” as an excuse not to change or grow in life.
What leads me to this topic is recently, my girlfriend and I had a very interesting conversation. On the day of our conversation I was in a bit of a funk and was in the mood to express just that. As we talked, she suggested that perhaps I was not staying true to my own advice about surrendering to what God/life was offering me; since I was expressing my frustration. I took a sincere moment to consider her evaluation. I did not want to make excuses for my behavior; but here’s what I determined.
The truth of my reality is that I was indeed in a funk. Occasionally, I’m spoiled, impatient and sometimes ungrateful -but that’s another Deya Direct! And, for the first time in a long time, I acknowledged that truth. I accept me for who I am. However, the difference is I don’t settle for that. Recognizing innate flaws about one’s self should not indicate it’s the best we can do. In fact, the greatest response to self-truth is the ability to grow and improve. In other words, you can’t change what you don’t admit.
As I continued the conversation with my girlfriend, I shared that my ability to be vulnerable in front of her about my feelings was a sign of growth. In times past, I would just pretend that all was well. Instead, what I was doing was still surrendering. Surrendering to pretense, and surrendering to the fact that I still need to grow in certain areas.
That is the beauty of life; it always has a way to show you that you’re a work in progress. It is fine to surrender to that also. Accept all of who you are, but let’s not settle for anything less than our best. “That’s just the way I am” today, should not be all we are tomorrow. Grow Up.
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Deya Smith is an emerging multi-media personality. A former Miss Black USA, this writer, actress, producer, and motivational speaker has been intriguing the airwaves with her provocative CommentRary Deya Direct! She calls it CommentRary because it’s contrary to the status quo, it’s social, political, personal, poetic, riveting and done from a black women’s perspective.
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