You should never have to ask permission to be yourself, but society and our own psyche sometimes say otherwise. This Thanksgiving, give yourself permission to be who you want to be, then surround yourself with friends and family that support that goal.
Sometime in the past few weeks, I came across [an article on CNBC] that described the number one regret of the dying: “I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
Maybe it was the pandemic, maybe it derives from today’s world events — or — maybe we were already heading in this direction, but these days we’re living a life of existentialism. [According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy]: “existentialism” is often viewed as a historically situated event that emerged against the backdrop of the Second World War, the Nazi death camps, and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, all of which created the circumstances for what has been called “the existentialist moment” (Baert 2015), where an entire generation was forced to confront the human condition and the anxiety-provoking givens of death, freedom, and meaninglessness.
It sounds bleak, but I’d argue it is freeing. Other quotes from the Stanford passage include, “For the existentialist, a moral or praiseworthy life is possible. It is one where we acknowledge and own up to our freedom, take full responsibility for our choices, and act in such a way as to help others realize their freedom.” and “we are always beyond or more than ourselves because of our capacity to interpret and give meaning to whatever limits or determines us.”
The most difficult part of “being you,” is finding others who believe you should, indeed, “be you.” Settle for nothing less. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!