I've been spending the early mornings outside with my son, taking pictures of dewdrops. Here's one that I used for this page theme. I got this phrase from Steven Covey's "7 habits." Here's the journaling:
Is my image right side up or are the drops upside down? There are so many ways to look at one thing, we need a strong sense of self to live correctly. A sense of self is not selfISHness, as in “me time” or even personal success, but a holding to sound Godly principles without regard to how other people might see me. I say “might” because OUR VIEW of their view is often distorted, making the social lens all the more meaningless. There is a right way to live, but living through the social lens will not get me there.
Operating on good principles despite the opinions of others is not the same as rebelling for the sake of it. It's like when a teenager dyes his hair purple to show how unique he is, craving the attention while declaring that he doesn't care what people think of him. Truly unique people don't need to put on a show.
I used to live in mortal fear that someone is thinking something negative about me or is talking about me behind my back. Even now, I pour through all the "mommy war" books just to see what other people would have to say about my life, meanwhile forming rebuttals in my mind and vowing to write my own book to show my irrefutable rightness on all things related to motherhood. Yet this insecurity and quest for validation is taking precious time and energy away from fulfilling my roles to the best of my ability.
People are social creatures by nature, but the fear of not being liked and not fitting in is dangerous. Think about how pathetic would it be for me to appear to change my values depending on who I'm with. That is not to say that I should try to start debates with people or point out their weaknesses in front of a group. But if I am put on the spot, I need to put my chin up and be honest. I can elaborate, give context, but not dodge the question or change the subject. They may not invite me out again, but that's what it takes to be a true individual. And like I said, our view of THEIR view could be distorted. I could discover a like-minded person in someone I thought would hate me. But either way, people who hold true to their beliefs and values are more respected by everyone in the end.