Forget What People Tell You To Be…

Lizzie - Atchison, Kansas
Entered on March 4, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I believe… that people want to know and hear that they are fine just they way they are.

I remember her sad eyes and mangled curly hear. She stood a grand total of maybe 5’ 1”, and her thick eyeglass lenses made me automatically wonder if she was a genius. I noticed the hefty amount of make-up she had used, undoubtedly because that’s the regular amount that most girls put on.

I had just finished giving a talk to around 600 teens at a Catholic Youth Conference called IOWA 2000. My topic: God loving us just they way He made us. As for my own life experiences in that are, you could say that I’ve just simply been lucky to have a very carefree nature. I’ve never really cared what people thought about me, and after my own conversion back to God, it made even more sense why not to. It became a belief, almost a creed, held closely to my own heart, so speaking about it became a passion.

But this girl, Sage, was someone who really needed the message. Her facial expression went from stressed and sad to excited and hopeful. When I was done speaking, she approached me with a quiet thanks. I couldn’t help but weep inside for her. This was a girl who had been deceived by today’s clear message that we must be a specific way to be accepted. She didn’t tell me anything about her life, but simply said these words: “I’m tired of trying to be someone I’m not; changing everything that I loved about myself to be something else… something I’m not meant to be.”

Her words still sit in my mind sometimes. What causes us to buy into this message that we must change? Why is it so hard to accept ourselves as we are? To accept others as they are? What sums up our value? My favorite quote says, “You are valuable simply because you exist; not because of what you have done or what you are doing… But simply because you are.”

This I believe, that there is a strong hunger in every human being to be loved, accepted, and cherished; that society and the media gives an unrealistic example of “happiness” from their type of acceptance; that the strongest element of someone’s personality is the ability to show themselves without hesitation or modification.

This I believe… that people want to know they are remarkable precisely the way they are. And they should, for this is exactly the case.