Tuesday, July 7, 2015
St. Francis, I'm Glad We Had This Talk
This is one of those quotes: "Be who you are and be that well."
Just as you sometimes feel like the priest is looking directly into your very soul when his homily seems to be tailor-made for you, I feel like St. Francis de Sales is speaking to me here. Because although I am well aware that, as they say (they, or maybe it was Theodore Roosevelt), "comparison is the thief of joy," I too often compare myself, with all my real and perceived shortcomings, to those about me; and when I do, I sometimes feel that even if I'm the very best me that I can be, it will never be good enough. When I do this, I know that I'm forgetting that God made me the way I am for a reason, and that He loves quiet, introverted, shy (and sometimes socially awkward) me as much as he loves the guy who walks into a party and immediately lights up the room. When I do this, I know that I'm like a petulant child, flinging a birthday gift back at the giver, upset that it's not the toy I had hoped for. When I do this, I know that I'm too busy not loving myself to love others well.
And yet...and yet, I fall back into this sinful way of thinking, time and time again!
I give lip service all the time to the idea that it would be a very boring world indeed if we were all created exactly alike. But almost in the same breath, I wish for a bigger personality, a more outgoing and engaging personality--forgetting that just as the world needs spirited storytellers, it needs listeners. And just as it needs people who are good at talking off the cuff at a party, it needs people who may not be so great at that, but whose unique gifts include the ability to express themselves quietly, through the written word.
You'd think that at about-to-turn-57, I would have learned by now to be comfortable in my own skin, to realize that there's nothing wrong with just being the way God made me. Well, that's the birthday gift I'm going to give myself this year: acceptance--and with it, I hope, unadulterated joy. I'm going to be who I am; and I may not be that as well as possible, but I'm going to give it the old college try.
St. Francis, I'm glad we had this talk. You can talk to me anytime, and I'll try to listen.
(P.S. I know you've been waiting with baited breath for the next book club "meeting," so look for a Grace-filled Tuesdays post next week.)