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Your Greatest Lesson

I've learned oh so many things along the way, but amongst all these lessons of life, there's one that stands out among the rest. It's the one that finds me in my most vulnerable place of all — in my aloneness.

It is, after all, the one place that few ever see.

I learned so well to play the part on the outside, being what everyone wanted me to be, but having no idea who I really was. It was who I was on the inside that told a completely different story. The one where I never felt like I fit in  anywhere. The one where I always felt like I was on the outside looking in, even as everyone else around me seemed to fit in so effortlessly, while I struggled so much with this myself.

It's why I've always felt so very much alone.

What I didn't know then was that I wasn't meant to fit it. I wasn't meant to conform, to lose myself in someone else's definition of me. The very people I was trying to fit in with, the very ones who I thought I wanted to accept me, could never have accepted me for who I was.

It was never the rejection I thought it was.

But of course I never recognized this at the time. No, before we learn this lesson we do so much damage to our self-confidence and sense of self-worth by convincing ourselves we have to get water from a stone. No one tells us that we don't have to fit in, that we don't have to conform to be accepted by the very people that can never appreciate us for who we are.

And yet we try and try and try some more. Until one day, we stumble upon the truth.

We're not meant to fit into those places where there isn't a fit. We're not meant to be with the ones who don't want to be with us. We're not meant to mold ourselves into what they want us to be.

This isn't love. This isn't acceptance. This isn't anywhere that we want to be. Not with eyes that can never see us for who we really are. Not with hearts and minds that can never accept who we are and what we have to offer.

And yet we call it failure if we give up this place. We call it something wrong with us if we fail at something that's supposedly as effortless as this.

Because we haven't learned that the greatest gift we can ever give ourselves is the one of acceptance of our true selves. The one that balks at what anyone says we have to do or be, and instead allows us to be who we are.

Is it any wonder we don't know who we really are? Is it any wonder we're all running around trying to prove our worth and our worthiness in every other manner except the one that matters most? We're not meant to be carbon copies of anyone else. We're meant to be ourselves.

Find that beautiful version of yourself. Dig deep and uncover the you that you've never dared to know.

And then don't stop there. Find out if this life you're living still works for you. And if it doesn't, let it go and create another. That's where you'll find your happiness, your dreams, your path, your tribe.

It's in this new place you're meant to be.

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Jane Garapick

Jane Garapick is a dating and relationship coach, and the founder of Getting to True Love, LLC.

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