Everybody is constantly trying to squeeze me into a box. They can’t stand that I am a doctor and an artist and a writer and an entrepreneur and a motivational speaker and a mother and a…(Yes, one friend introduced me to another with my Renaissance list of interests, and the other said, “You know, there’s treatment for people like you.” Sheesh. How are you supposed to respond to a snide comment like that? Why do I have to keep f-cking apologizing for who I am? So I’m a lot. Bite me.)
Listen up TV producers, publishers, internet marketers, magazine editors, speaker’s agents, art dealers, journalists, literary agents, and publicists. I love many things and I rock many talents, but I am still more than what I do. So stop pressuring me to fit into a box so you can sell me! I know you want me to be The Menopause Maven or The Career Doctor or VaJesus or The Midlife Crisis MD or some other title that makes me sound like I have my own reality TV show.
I get it. I do. But I just don’t fit in a box. Period. I’m bigger than any box. And so are you, so let me just be me. Isn’t that enough?
Do I sound angry? Damn straight. I’m pissed off that I feel boxed in from all sides after working my ass off to spread my wings, ditch the white coat, and resist the urge to dumb myself down into soundbytes the average housewife can consume in 30 seconds or less.
But -- and this is a huge deal for me -- now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I’m going to push myself to do something I resist: narrow my focus. I’m going to challenge myself to figure out what one thing I would tell you if I had ten minutes and a mic in front of 10,000 people. I’m going to share with you what I would say if these were the last words I uttered before dying. I’m going to boil it down into what I want written on my tombstone.
I’m going to make this about what I would write about if I only got to write one blog post- ever
So here goes:
BE UNAPOLOGETICALLY ALL OF YOU and grant others loving permission to be the same.
What if we could all show up that way? What if we knew we were safe to do so with our friends, family, lovers, colleagues, mentors, and clients? What if we didn’t have to conform to perfectionist standards or squeeze ourselves like sausages into some too-tight skin? What if we could let our freak flags fly so high and proud that we wind up doing cartwheels through life?
Don’t you realize that this is not only the golden ticket to success in business, health, creative projects, romance, and life -- it’s also the meaning of life?
Why are we here if not to be as unapologetically who we are as we possibly can? If The Universe crafted us into such unique individuals, don’t you think the least we can do is OWN our individuality? We’re not here to beat ourselves up, live like phonies, and hold ourselves up to impossible expectations. We’re not even here to do noble things like save the world, cure cancer, raise an empowered child, or orchestrate world peace.
Sure, those good things can be welcome side effects of being unapologetically YOU, if you’re doing them because you feel called and it’s part of who you really are. But I think the meaning of life is actually simple. We’re here to OWN -- to love, accept, and nurture, without judgment -- all the facets of who we are: our creativity, health, career, relationships, spirituality, sexuality, and why we’re here on this planet. We’re here to bear witness -- with love and without judgment -- to the unapologetically authentic selves of others. And from that deep, profound place of love, we can achieve anything.
We are here to love. Love ourselves just as we are. Love others just as they are. Heal. Connect. Thrive. Love. Period.
What do I want engraved on my tombstone? She Owned Pink.
What last words would I utter before I died? I love you.
What one blog post would I write? This one.
Why am I sobbing right now? Because it’s this simple. The people who are trying to “sell” me want me to get in a box so they can boil me down to a sound byte. And I’ve been resisting. But it’s this simple. I Own Pink. And that’s enough for me.
What about you? What would you say to 10,000 people? What last words would you utter before you die? What do you want engraved on your tombstone? What blog post would you write? (Write it! Post the link in the comments!)
Dying (no -- LIVING) to know the real you,
Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.com, Change Catalyst coach, motivational speaker, and author of What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.
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