Ever-Changing Reflection

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding... It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.
~ Kahlil Gibran

Friday, June 10, 2011

#Trust30: Imitation is the Finest Form of Flattery

Divine Idea by Fabian Kruse

Imitation is Suicide. Insist on yourself; never imitate. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Write down in which areas of your life you have to overcome these suicidal tendencies of imitation, and how you can transform them into a newborn you – one that doesn’t hide its uniqueness, but thrives on it. There is a “divine idea which each of us represents” – which is yours?

Flattery for the original, suicide for the imitator... Ick. I have struggled with this my entire life. How do I be myself? Who is that even? How can I be myself when I see someone else doing it better than I ever could? Wow, that's deep huh? Really cuts to the core.

I think there are two areas in my life right now where I am imitating rather than letting my uniqueness shine, and ironically, they are also the two most challenging areas of my life right now. I think when I find myself "not living up," I imitate those who I see as doing it better, as doing it how I want to do it.

First up, my relationship. Man, I am surrounded by some great examples of love -- close friends, family, reality TV... ok, maybe not so much on that last one. When I don't know how to love, I find myself imitating someone's relationship other than mine, or trying to. It never works, let me tell you, because there are two people in every relationship, and that other person usually is not willing to mimic the actions/thoughts/words/feelings of the partner in the relationship you are trying to copy. It is disastrous. Hm, or as Emerson so eloquently stated: SUICIDAL. Even worse, you are dragging someone down with you. Just don't do it.

A relationship is something that is so beautiful, so unique, so kinetic; no two are alike because no two people are the same, and no two people's interaction can be the same. I think the answer here is easy: Let it flow. Be who you are. Feel what you feel. Say what you think (with kindness). Let go of the comparison because it just can't compare!

The second area I find myself imitating is in my career. Man, sometimes work is just... work. It's hard. It's tiring. Sometimes I just don't know what to do, and instead of figuring it out, I play this game of "What Would 'Fill-in-the-Blank' Do?" I know, we all need mentors, teachers, coaches, guides. We need someone to show us what to do sometimes. However, I have found myself in situations where I look back, and I know that my actions didn't reflect who I really am.

I think many of us tend to lose ourselves in the corporate world. We're different people at work and at home. It doesn't have to be that way, especially today. Companies are actually realizing the value in the individual, so let's let it shine! Here is where I need to stop being a drone and start letting my unique perspective shine. Here is where I need to do the work.

Where do you find yourself imitating and why?

#Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey. 

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1 comment:

Ibotenicus said...

Well spoken. Glad I read your entry :)