I loved the scrawny cartooned Popeye with his mantra of “I am what I am”. Frankly, there are days I’d rather be what I was.
As we count our skill-sets, most of us overlook the ability to say “to hell with it”.
There is tremendous value in that skill-set.
People who can accept themselves just the way they are or don’t give a damn what other people think of them are brilliant. And well adjusted.
I am an ongoing student of acceptance.
I recently read about a study conducted by economist Daniel Hamermesh that ugly people earn less than average-looking people, and average-looking people earn less than beautiful people. I should be shocked, but I’m not.
He goes on to report that the difference in earnings over a lifetime between the typical good–looking worker and the below average-looking worker is approximately $230,000. What?!
I hate surveys like this, especially when they are offered up to help sell a book, which is the case with Mr. Hamermesh. I’m not one to shoot the messenger, but do we really need yet another validation that some of us are allegedly worth less than others? I say no thank you.
In raising my beautiful daughter I told her that there would always be someone in the room who would be prettier, who would have better clothes, who would have a bigger house and who would go on better vacations. But there would never be anyone in the room that was just like her and she was pretty damn special just the way she was. I was afraid that during the daily onslaught of well meaning strangers complimenting her beauty, she would quickly learn to lean on it and value it more than it was worth. She didn’t.
Now I’m told that her beauty actually does carry more worth. I’m the first to admit that life seems generally easier for the pretty people, but since I don’t count myself as one, I can’t really be sure.
I am sure that money doesn’t really buy happiness (pretty much all the rich people I know are fairly miserable), and beauty doesn’t either.
Trying to be something we are not is almost as sad as trying to avoid what we really are.
I know people who are amazingly creative and talented but are too afraid to release their gifts for fear of failing or not measuring up. I know people who are in failing relationships but will not leave because they are too afraid to be alone or don’t think there will be anyone else that will love them. These people are magnificent beauties in every sense of the word.
I also know an abundance of people who are not even close to the legends they believe themselves to be in their own minds. Coincidentally, many of them are beautiful or rich or both.
Denial is a cruel thing whichever way it slants and very tough to see up close. It confines us to a destiny which is less than what we are living. Denial robs us of our greatness plain and simple.
Here’s the deal. I think that we should live up to what we are, and if it’s not enough, change what we can and love what is left.
Maybe our happiness lies in our ability to accept what we see, who we are and what we know for sure. They never taught that in school. Too bad. I struggle with it every day.
Popeye had it right. Whoever you are … own it!
Judith - “Here’s the deal. I think that we should live up to what we are, and if it’s not enough, change what we can and love what is left.” What more can be said. Sage and Savvy advice. Thank you.
Jeffrey Davidson - Your words hit home! Sometimes it is difficult to live up to who we are because we are much more than we think we are. Sometimes it is difficult to accept all of the things we are because some of them are flawed and we can not change them. But, to make the best of what we have and who we are to the best of our abilities is the best we can do and hopefully would make our “Spinahc King” proud. Good article.
tammy - Judith, thanks for the appreciation. Speaking of which, appreciate you being on the other side of my blogs. Thanks for the post!
tammy - Jeff, It’s a tough world out there, to be sure. To be expected to do more than our best is a rough piece of luggage to carry through life. On the other hand, being the best we are is vital to our happiness. Flaws mean nothing. They are but bumps in the road. Our inner self esteem means everything. That is what’s hard to grasp on to. Great having you here. Thanks for posting.
Jenn - I’m working on it! Geesh! I know, you know this hit home for me. My favorite part of this entire blog is “Here’s the deal. I think that we should live up to what we are, and if it’s not enough, change what we can and love what is left.” and when you give me the go ahead I am stealing it and sharing it. My least favorite part? You still not knowing how amazingly beautiful you are.
Laura Lee Carter aka the Midlife Crisis Queen - Acceptance releases everything to be what it already is!
Every human being in the world only wants to be SEEN, APPRECIATED and ACCEPTED for exactly who they are. It is magic when this happens!
Suerae Stein - It sounds to me like you are living up to who you are. A beautifully written message and one that I struggle with as well. I try to tell my kids that they are born with certain gifts or talents, that are different than others gifts and talents. And ignoring, or not nurturing these gifts is like insulting the gift giver. It’s not living up to their full potential. And they also have to accept that there are certain things that will not be their strengths, while others will excel. Just like your message. And it’s a difficult message to convey. Well done! ~ Suerae
tammy - Suerae, it IS a difficult message, which is why most of us learn it ‘the hard way’. I know people who never have gotten the message of acceptance. It’s often a one day at a time kind of thing. Your kids are lucky to have you for their mom. Life’s lessons are better learned from those who love us. Thanks fo being here, appreciate the post.
tammy - Laura Lee, well spoken words, thank you. Magic is a good thing, especially when it comes from within. Happy to have you here…thanks for the post!
tammy - Jenn, You are too funny. Any similarity to living persons is simply a coincidence (wink). It’s wonderful having people who believe in us. It’s life changing when we accept our gifts and declare our intents with actions. Life changing. Sadly, some lives are lived completely without the realization of their own greatness. I shudder to think. As always, I’m thrilled to have you on the other side of my blog. Thanks for posting, Missy.
Kesha Brown - Tammy, first, I am loving the purple and red color scheme here…gorgeous 🙂
Secondly, I ditto Suerae in that it seems you are doing a fine job in loving who you are now!
The question (for ourselves) remains: how long will it take for us to do the same?
I am 33 and have been thinking like Popeye for a long while now (old soul, remember?) LOL
However, like you, I know wealthy and beautiful people who are the most miserable of them all! It’s shocking to me but hey what do I know 🙂
This statement is hilarious: “…know an abundance of people who are not even close to the legends they believe themselves to be in their own minds…” ROTFL…We must know the same people!
Catch ya lata,
tammy - Kesha, So happy to have you here. Someday we must meet and compare notes. Maybe we share a friend roster, but truth is there are so many peeps who think so much of themselves it’s hard to keep a straight face let alone keep track. Thanks for the post, Missy.