Free to Be…..You and Me…: Three Rules for Personal Comfort

4 Apr

Part Three of Four

Be sure to read Part One  and Part Two!

For adults to understand and share with their children:

  1. Be Thyself

I can’t believe this 4-part post started out as a brief commentary on self-comfort! I appreciate your positive comments and interest as I give you the second of Three Absolutes for finding and keeping one’s personal contentment.

I have commented on this before, but let me repeat – everyone finds ‘their people’. Eventually. There’s a place for the 4th string clarinet player, the Goth chick in third hour and the guy at the next locker with spiked hair and tattoos. It’s okay to join the Robotics Club without giving up your place in your peer group! And it’s more than okay to befriend a really nice classmate who just happens to have special needs.

It’s not just forbidden things. Why join a club if you have no connection to its topic, simply because your friends are doing it? If you love soccer and all your friends are playing lacrosse, why give up the sport you love just because someone said so? By being yourself and branching out just a bit, you often find ‘your people’. And as time goes on – into college and beyond, your new people and your old people can merge, as well. As we grow and ‘become’, there doesn’t seem to be the same (often perceived) pressure to be just ONE thing.

A couple of summers ago, Ben had a bunch of boys over and as usual, the basketballs came out and a game got started. One of Ben’s friends came in the house and asked if he could help me get stuff ready for lunch. Really!! When I asked him why he wasn’t playing basketball, he told me really didn’t like the game. Never did, he said – he wasn’t bitter, mad, or apologetic – it just wasn’t his thing. I thought it was so cool that he knew himself and simply moved on to another thing until the activity changed – and I told him so to reinforce his position. Then he went happily out to let the guys know that lunch was ready.

Likewise, a good friend shared that a whole lot of her good friends participate in a running club and have been relentlessly asking her to join them – for more than three years now! And it took all three years for her to finally stand firm and let them know that she’s happy with her one-on-one trainer and her quiet daily walks with her dog. She shared how liberating it was to know herself – and respect herself enough to put an end to their unremitting attempts to get her to join the crowd.


Be Thyself – KID TALK:

(What to instill in kids) Hold on to your very own decisions and opinions, but be flexible enough to allow yourself to change and grow. We all have the right and responsibility to re-evaluate what we like and what we don’t, and even who we like and don’t like. It’s part of the human condition! School-aged kids are forging ahead with identifying their own values, so the bottom line for them is to surround themselves with people and interests that lift them and make them feel confident about their decisions and their place in school, church, temple, their neighborhood AND their peer group.

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