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Enjoying Your Uniqueness
by Greg Baker
4/28/2010 / Self Help
Teenagers sometimes crack me up. They go around spouting platitudes that they want to be unique, different, their own man or woman-and then dress like their friends, do their hair the same way as their friends, adopt the same mannerisms as they do, listen to the same music, pick up the local slang, adopt the popular color coordination, and exhibit the same attitudes as their friends. In effect, they become carbon copies of each other in their quest for individuality.
The truth is, God made us all individually unique. That does not mean that we are mature within that uniqueness. Someone with a short fuse can't just say, "That's the way I am." Are you blaming God for your temper? That ought to be an interesting debate. No, our uniqueness and individuality comes through the totally unique experiences that are seen through a totally unique point of view.
That makes us different, along with the strengths and limitations of the body God made for us.
And it is nothing to be ashamed about. Look, I'm tall, skinny, and have a long nose ('beak' for those of you with that wry sense of humor). I'm never going to be Mr. Universe (thank God), never win any popularity contests, never have raving, drooling, lunatic, screaming fans running after me with wild eyes and cameras snapping away to catch me eating with my mouth open! How utterly disappointing, I'm sure.
I just enjoy being me. I think I can improve. I believe I have plenty of room to grow. But, I have long since stopped worrying about if people like me or not. I don't make it a goal in life to be popular, but rather to please God and live the purpose that I believe God made me for.
It gives me tremendous freedom. I don't assume that people are insulting me, nor do I think that people are out to get me. It often comes as a complete surprise when I learn that someone really meant to hurt me with a particular comment-one that I laughed away as a very good, but harmless, teasing insult.
I flaunt my skinniness-no matter if some think I have chicken legs-I revel in how God made me. And never wish I was someone else or had so and so's looks. Besides, so and so probably wishes to be different too. How absurd! Wishing to be like someone, who wishes to be like someone else, who just might wish to be like you. Life is full of irony. And I love noticing it. Even about myself.
Some of you read these Hollywood magazines and look at the sculpted looks of the men and women therein. You wish you looked like that. You've let Hollywood define beauty for you. Have you ever considered that when these people die, that a large portion of their body will never decay? Too much plastic! Enjoy being who you are. Stop trying to be someone else.
A person who has the capability to laugh at themselves is a happy person. You don't worry about being self-conscious, stared at, made fun of, or laughed at. Because if you are laughed at, you join right in! There is no freedom like the freedom from your own preconceptions.
So what if my hair is prematurely gray? It's just one more thing to laugh about, flaunt about and pretend it means that I actually have some degree of wisdom. In fact, I can demand respect, can't I? Perhaps. I think the Bible says so. Somewhere. Maybe.
See? When you enjoy who you are, acknowledge that you can grow and improve, but are satisfied with who God made you, you have exceptional freedom. It makes it fun to be around others and to live with yourself. It's all something to think about anyway.
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