I hear the echo of words spoken time and time again. Countless times I hear my voice saying the same words, “I cannot be who you want me to be.”
And I couldn’t.
I tried to be that woman; that person; to do as desired only to repeat the same phrase time and time again…
“I cannot be who you want me to be.”
Most of the time this was fine. I am who I am and what you see with me is what you get. There is a lot going on in my head and in my heart, but it is nothing I hide from the world or from anyone. I am who I am.
That said, there were times when I felt badly that I couldn’t give what was desired. I couldn’t be that person or that woman.
And I would find myself confused or concerned – why ask me to be something I am not and cannot be?
Later I came to ask, why did I stay involved with someone who wanted me to be someone different than the person I was? I didn’t change myself for him, but we were both aware that he wanted something I would not give and couldn’t give and remain true to myself.
I had reasons for staying – reasons I realized at the time and reasons I came to understand with time.
I learned not to accept that as love because love is accepting one another for the people that we are.
It is odd to look back on that time in my life and realize that I felt I was letting him down in demonstrating the strength to be true to myself – and in that, I realize that although I knew I couldn’t and wasn’t that person, I let myself down in feeling as if I was not being the person he wanted. I look back now and cheer for that person who said no and stayed true to herself!!
It takes strength and courage to be true especially when love is involved. Many of us want to give to our partners. We want to love and be loved. And sometimes it is far easier and more comfortable to appease our loved one over saying “no” or “I cannot be that person.”
Sometimes I wonder how to teach this to my daughter – to stand up and be herself and not allow herself to be someone she isn’t due to the expectations or desires of others. I wonder why others want us to be someone we aren’t – and why we appease them even if it means hurting ourselves or others.