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Mar 4

Be Yourself

Posted on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

Untitled-TrueColor-47In the movie Batman Begins, Henri Ducard tells Bruce Wayne: You traveled the world now you must journey inwards to what you really fear; it’s inside you there is no turning back…If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, you become something else entirely. Are you ready to begin?

Beginnings are important. Yesterday I began a series called “10 for 25.” It’s a series of ten lessons I have learned in my twenty-five years at TreeHouse.


In 1990 my boss was a guy named Shaun. He was an amazing youth worker. To this day, I tell people he was the greatest youth worker I have ever known. He was very charismatic, insightful and everyone seemed to like and respect him.

I wanted to be like him.

Shaun abruptly left right after I was hired

Their hero was leaving and I was left behind. Shaun seemed to be everything I wasn’t. He was charismatic; I was an obnoxious smarty-mouth. He seemed like a natural leader; I was a loner and an independent thinker. He knew style, I could spell S-T-Y-L-E.

I was not who I wished I was.


My first summer at TreeHouse while pulling weeds that had gathered around our TreeHouse deck, twelfth-grade Krissy spoke up. Krissy recognized the battle I faced. With wisdom far beyond her years Krissy said, “Shaun is like our dad. You’re like our step-dad. You can never be our dad, but you can be a really good step-dad.”

Even typing that I fought back tears.

In that conversation God catalyzed a transformation that continues to this day. I am fighting to discover who I am and be myself.

What did I learn that day? Be yourself.

Be Yourself

“Be yourself;” wrote Oscar Wilde, “everyone else is already taken.”

Rita Mae Brown wrote, “About all you can do in life is be who you are. Some people will love you for you. Most will love you for what you can do for them, and some won’t like you at all.” 

A dozen years ago while watching the movie “What A Girl Wants” I heard a quote that captured my struggle exactly: Ian says to Daphne, “Why are trying so hard to fit in when you are born to stand out?”

I heard, why are you trying so hard to be someone else when you were meant to be yourself? That’s important, because there are many situations where I feel different and I feel I stand out.

Last week my friend Paul said to me, “I know you feel misunderstood at times, but I understand you. That’s why I pursue you.” It’s nice to be admired for who I am.

I’ve wasted a lot of energy when I was younger worrying about being cool. It’s way more fun to forget about that, and just be myself.

The less I cared about trying to be someone else and the more energy I invest in becoming the kind of person I admired the more I like myself.

#mysilentscream: Be Yourself.

Bring on the comments

  1. I am glad you are you!

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I need frequent reminders that it’s ok to want to be better but it needs to be a better version of myself and not someone else. Looking forward to reading more!

  3. Thanks Ang! I was a woefully inadequate version of someone else. =)

  4. Laura, thank you for your kind words.
    I’m blessed that you’re out there!
    I’ll be grateful when you return.

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