“Don’t go changing to try and please me”
This is the opening line to Just The Way You Are written and sung by Billy Joel
I for one have been guilty of trying to be someone different or at least not being fully myself for many years and only now am I coming to terms with the fact that,
- It’s hard not to be me.
- It’s OK for me to be me.
- I have value and the world needs me to be me.
This song always reminds me of the Oscar Wilde quote, “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken”
“I don’t want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard
I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are”
- How many times have I “tried” to be clever, impress or provoke just to be heard or make myself feel good and worthy?
- How many times have I dressed in ways, which just aren’t me?
- How many times have I said yes when I wanted to say no just to please someone else?
- How many times have I regretted not being me for fear of what others might think?
- How many times have I not shown up as my true self because I wanted to belong, be liked or be loved?
“I need to know that you will always be
The same old someone that I knew
What will it take till you believe in me
The way that I believe in you?
I said I love you and that’s forever
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are”
I am learning that for someone else to like or love me I need to be confident in who I am and love myself unconditionally.
A few years ago, one of my colleagues introduced me to this koan from Shunryu Suzuki
“Everything is perfect and there is always room for improvement.”
I have adapted that and use it as a personal mantra – I am already perfect AND there’s always room for improvement.
And this applies to you too.