Reviewing our articles for this month’s edition, I found myself reflecting upon Brené Brown’s article “Be True to Yourself: It’s the Secret to Belonging.” As the child of a military officer, we moved a fair bit. I’ve lived a fairly broad social and socioeconomic experience, and I’m not sure which came first; my nature to be comfortable within a wide variety of groups or whether moving made me comfortable doing so. My mom says I never gave moving much of a thought—it wasn’t stressful to me—just new experiences and new friends to make.
Throughout my journey, I have known people in all walks of life who seem to be just what Brown is talking about. While I am not the judge and jury of who is or is not grounded in their true self, I know I have and still do encounter people that just don’t feel grounded to me. I’m not saying they have to be like me or that they aren’t good, nice, enjoyable people; it’s just that they don’t have an earthy, organic feel to whatever it is they are. Just the way a butterfly may bring lightness and color, a buffalo brings ruggedness and strength or a snake brings grace and speed, it’s not what they are but how they are.
Like a glass menagerie, we are all fragile, unique and imperfect. But as we go through life, we have the opportunity to really learn, connect and better ourselves, if and when we are honest with others and about ourselves, not looking for them to validate us by being just like us.
I don’t collect things, but I do collect people, you might say. Some of my favorite people to spend time with are people that would not be a “match” for me if you put our traits, hobbies, political or religious beliefs on paper. But their calm confidence allows for an appreciation of our differences and an opportunity to learn and grow.
Let me take a moment to give a quick shout-out to a few long-time members of my menagerie: my Executive-Cowboy, Girl Scout-Scientist, Yogi-Ninja, Gentle-Trooper, Artist-Minister, Victorian-Freespirit, Republitarian- Buddha and of course, my Winking Sherpa; thank you all for being you and allowing me to be me. All of you contribute immensely to this world; you make me smile, you make me better and I’m blessed to have you in my life.
To anyone out there not feeling like they fit in, you do. Just as all the elements of Earth and sky form the amazing universe, you too, have a place. Perhaps you’re just claiming your “place” by living your true self—inwardly and outwardly. I encourage you to let go of doubts and be accepting and loving of yourself and others. Give grace—even to yourself, and know that we all are doing the best we can for where we are on our journey—and that’s just perfect.
Marteé Davis, Publisher