This Is Who You Are
Trading Away… It’s easy to spot a prostitute. This is someone who sells herself for money. I remember reading an article about a prostitute who said something like, “I’m not so bad when you think about how most people give themselves for less. At least I have a business.” It was a defiant, disturbing, yet thought provoking perspective that there are people, both men and women, who view women so lowly. The sad thing is many are falling for this view, and are trading their futures, their families, their talents, their gifts, their fulfillment, and their beauty for empty things, empty relationships, empty validations, empty recognition, and empty promises. I guess, in my own youthful chauvinism, I have contributed to this, but this is my own small way of repairing that. A Deception… We’ve bought into a lie. By we, I mean both men and women. We’ve bought into new definitions for timeless virtues. Beauty has been replaced by sexy and hot. Dignity and grace has been replaced by naughty and wild. Things and moments have replaced principles and purpose. Our values are wrong. We have put emphasis on the wrong things and made the wrong things important. Look at our stars? Both Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton came to prominence through their infamous sex videos. What makes them worth our time and attention? Nothing. Lady Gaga is huge, but mostly because she’s audacious and shocking. Look at our crushes? There’s a man crush, a girl crush, a celebrity crush, a school crush, a church crush, a yoga crush, a musical crush, a sports crush… There’s a crush for everything. Our own identities, our own purpose and our own responsibilities have been crushed by idols with a cuter title. I wrote about the Celebrity Crisis in one of my posts, how we put humans on pedestals. I added: “We’re pressured to become an air-brushed, fully-sponsored, cosmetically-altered, PR-aided person whose smartest lines were read from a script, and whose best moments took more than one take.” The deception is that you need to be like them to find satisfaction. I’m telling you now, you won’t. They are emptier than you. Follow them and you will be empty. What Do You Value? One question I ask people who come to me for advice is, “What are your values?” or “What’s important to you?” I noticed that more often than not, people are actually surprised with the question. A few people will have clear values. Some will be able to think on the spot and blurt out their answers. Most don’t know what’s important to them. The problem with this is, when you don’t know what’s important, every choice becomes a tiring negotiation. Should I work? Should I be kind? Should I flirt? Should I be strong? Should I pray? Should I serve? Should I self-pity? Should I be generous? Should I obey? So many questions to negotiate through, you need to know what’s important. More often than not, with all the pressures of life, you’ll lose the negotiations. My suggestion is to really know your values, think about them, think through them, write them down, and live them. This Is Who You Are I’m hoping your father has told you this, but if he hasn’t, let me tell you who you are. When I thought this list up, I imagined myself with a daughter, a daughter that is entering a huge world full of messages, and voices, and opinions, and perspectives, full of advertisements, and movies, and shows, and music, and lyrics, and smart asses, and bad asses, angels, and demons, full of hurt, full of fear, full of lies, full of denial, full of opportunity, yet full of lost dreams, full of haunting regrets, full of so many beautiful things, and full of so many broken hearts breaking the hearts of others. I won’t be able to protect her at some point. I won’t be able to guide her all the time. She’s always welcome to run back, and I’ll always be there to remind her of who she is. But if I had a girl, I would relentlessly speak these words so that she will always remember and never forget that: You are beautiful. You are special. You are wise. You are strong. You are irreplaceable. You are priceless. You are free. You are loved. Please click on the links for more depth on these statements.