In Others’ Words: You

“The better part of happiness is to wish to be what you are.” ~Desiderius Erasmus (1466? – 1536) , Catholic priest

I gotta be honest with you: I wasted a lot of time thinking the only way I could be really, truly happy was if I was somebody else.

Someone more like you, maybe.

I spent a lot of time thinking being me wasn’t good enough, all the while thinking everyone else loved themselves with the same ferocity that I, um, didn’t like being me.

There are a great variety of freedoms in life. One of my most treasured freedoms was the day I decided to be me — and like myself for who I was.

In Your Words: Who wouldn’t want to embrace “the better part of happiness”? So tell me, how are you being “what you are”?

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30 Comments

  1. April 25, 2012, 6:26 am   /  Reply

    Formerly the shy retiring type, for the most part that’s changed through the years. Now Pres. of our state’s Chris. Writers Guild, last night I saw myself take charge and move us through more of our extensive agenda, in unity, than any of us thought possible. True I’d done my homework, but what could easily have taken four mtgs. to nail down next year’s speakers, etc., now can easily be done in two. We thank God.

    • Beth Vogt
      April 25, 2012, 6:53 am   /  Reply

      🙂
      I am thankful for how you are a reflection of Him.

  2. April 25, 2012, 6:40 am   /  Reply

    Powerful, Beth. And if I’m being 100% honest, I still struggle with this sometimes. Realizing God created me to be me. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t strive to be more like Him….but it does mean I shouldn’t strive to be more like others.

    • Beth Vogt
      April 25, 2012, 6:53 am   /  Reply

      I understand the struggle.
      Which is why I posted the quote.

  3. April 25, 2012, 6:48 am   /  Reply

    Some days are better than others. The more I mature in Christ and realize my identity is in Him and He thoroughly loves me, I find I don’t mind being me as much as I used to. But I won’t lie and say I never struggle with it.

    • Beth Vogt
      April 25, 2012, 6:54 am   /  Reply

      Agreed, Jess.
      Agreed.

  4. Jeanne T
    April 25, 2012, 7:08 am   /  Reply

    This has been one of my biggest life struggles. A number of years ago, Jesus confronted me with this question: “Am I enough for you?” I had to evaluate my life in light of that question. I found there were areas where I was striving to be someone else to gain people’s acceptance. I still have days where I struggle with this, but trying to live as though Jesus is enough for me helps me seek my identity in Him, and to be comfortable with who He’s created me to be.

    • Beth Vogt
      April 25, 2012, 9:04 am   /  Reply

      I hope that I can always answer “yes” to that question , Jeanne.

  5. April 25, 2012, 7:11 am   /  Reply

    Powerful. I find myself comparing me with other people…especially prettier, smarter people who are better writers. Then I try to remember that I am “worth something” because of WHOSE I am, not what I do or achieve. Not my looks. Nothing but the blood of Jesus and the fact that I’m a daughter of the King.

    • Beth Vogt
      April 25, 2012, 9:06 am   /  Reply

      I am so thankful that others, like you, are willing to be honest in this conversation today, Lindsay.
      Being you is not easy.
      Being me — and being content with that — is not easy.
      Maybe it’s because it is how we reflect the image of God to the world — and the enemy wants to hinder that. And if he can do that by discouraging us, making us not like who we are … well, then we aren’t showing God to the world through our lives.
      (Thinking out loud here.)

  6. April 25, 2012, 7:15 am   /  Reply

    Learning to laugh in my skin. I have so much to learn. At any given moment, SO much to learn.

    Love that tray of debut authors on your sidebar! Serve it up, please!
    ~ Wendy

    • Beth Vogt
      April 25, 2012, 9:06 am   /  Reply

      :O)

  7. April 25, 2012, 7:51 am   /  Reply

    Many years ago I discovered I could make beautiful things with my hands. It was at a time in my life when I didn’t see much value in myself. Then I started making silk flowers and when I looked at the almost life-like flowers that others wanted, it was like a light switched on. If I could do this, I could do other things. The other things went on to be working in clay and writing.
    So many times the world says we have no value…but if we listen as Jesus whispers in our ear, we hear, “You are mine. I have called you by name.” If He knows our name, we have value.

    • Beth Vogt
      April 25, 2012, 9:07 am   /  Reply

      One of my favorite Scriptures is the one that says God has etched our names on the palms of his hands …

  8. April 25, 2012, 7:56 am   /  Reply

    I am grateful to so many people in my life who have constantly affirmed “the real Melissa,” but it’s still so easy to try to be whatever I think I should be depending on whoever I’m around or whatever situation I’m in. But I’ve thought a lot about my identity in Christ in the past year (since that was the theme of my last book) and I think the more grounded I become in who I am in Him, the more I’ll realize I really don’t want to be in anyone else’s skin than my own. He made me who I am for a reason…so I want to know that reason and find the purpose He has just for me…and delight in the fact that I’m wonderfully and fearfully made.

    • Beth Vogt
      April 25, 2012, 9:08 am   /  Reply

      Well said, Melissa.
      Well said.

  9. April 25, 2012, 8:14 am   /  Reply

    Oh, I am in good company. It is nice to see I am not the only one who struggles with this. A daily reminder that I am His and I am the way He created me to be. He had a reason and it was a good one.
    Thanks Beth.
    (Tried to add you widget but it looks funky on my page. Is there another way?)

    Jodi

    • Beth Vogt
      April 25, 2012, 9:08 am   /  Reply

      No, you are not the only one who struggles with this, Jodi.
      (Checking on that widget for you.)

  10. April 25, 2012, 9:27 am   /  Reply

    I believe some of this comes naturally with aging : ) As we grow older, we care less about what others think and grow more secure in our own identities. I’ve noticed the most successful people I know are those who are comfortable in their own skin and flowing freely in the gifts God has given to them. This encourages me to draw closer to God and focus on the fact – I am His unique creation. So I need to remind myself of this fact every single day to stay in the right frame of mind!

    • Beth Vogt
      April 25, 2012, 9:46 am   /  Reply

      Cynthia,
      Thank you for adding such wise insights to the conversation this morning.
      (Love your name(s) by the way!)

  11. Loree Huebner
    April 25, 2012, 10:25 am   /  Reply

    I went through something like that. Until I decided to accept who I was and love myself, I really wasn’t happy. God walked with me all those years that I wanted to be someone else, then He showed me who I was. Now I’m Loree. That’s who I am.

    • Beth Vogt
      April 25, 2012, 2:02 pm   /  Reply

      I’m enjoying getting to know you, Loree.
      🙂

  12. April 25, 2012, 11:35 am   /  Reply

    I had a full blown inferiority complex when I was younger. Even now, I struggle with a lack of self-confidence at times. I’m so glad I know that the Lord made me, loves me, and believes in me–even when I don’t believe in myself.

    • Beth Vogt
      April 25, 2012, 2:02 pm   /  Reply

      Me too, Keli.
      And I like being with other women who walk so closely with the One who knows them best.

  13. April 25, 2012, 2:32 pm   /  Reply

    Love this, Beth! We all struggle with it, but I have really been taking a stand against what I like to call the comparison trap. It’s so difficult to find satisfaction for your life, or just be happy with yourself, when we are constantly comparing ourselves to others. And there will always be someone who has more of the “er” factor than us. (Richer, smarter, skinnier, prettier, funnier, um, more popular-er) 🙂 God doesn’t call us to be anyone else but us. And when we embrace that, we truly are happiER. Great reminder!

    • Beth Vogt
      April 26, 2012, 12:33 am   /  Reply

      I’ve certainly been tripped up by the comparison trap, Amy — and fallen flat on my face.

  14. April 25, 2012, 4:26 pm   /  Reply

    Aren’t we all guilty of this. I wish my hair weren’t so straight or curly. I wish I was taller or shorter. I wish I were thinner, I wish I was funnier…The list is never ending. I think my first real step of being the “me” God wants me to be is in writing. If I can allow Him to have His way in that, maybe the other will follow…Maybe?

    • Beth Vogt
      April 26, 2012, 12:33 am   /  Reply

      I do think more people than we realize struggle with this. And we think it’s only us.

  15. April 25, 2012, 7:49 pm   /  Reply

    Great post, Beth. I struggle with this more often than I’d like to admit. But I’ve found that if I’m doing what He called me to do, I don’t think about myself as much. It becomes about Jesus instead of about me. And when I’m about His work, I’m much better at being me. 😉 Or, better said, at accepting the me that I am.

    • Beth Vogt
      April 26, 2012, 12:33 am   /  Reply

      Very wise, Shelley. Very wise.

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