I can’t make you love me.

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I imagine most of us struggle with the desire to have everyone love us. We struggle to be likable and to go along with the crowd.  The fight to keep our skeletons hidden and our vulnerabilities at bay is a daunting battle at best. Impossible, really.

There are secrets in the deepest recesses of our minds, and we walk through each day trying to keep them hidden. We don’t want people to see the us of our dreams. Sometimes these are fantastic fantasies, and other times they are brutally terrifying nightmares that we are barely able to escape. The bad dreams are not the only ones we want to keep hidden. We also hide our fantasies for fear of being judged.

It is the same old thing, too much and not enough all over again.

So, what happens when we become our true, authentic selves? What happens when we say exactly what we think, feel, and desire? What happens when we laugh that real laugh only a few people have ever heard? When we allow that tear to fall during the Folger’s commercial? What would happen if we were ourselves all the time?

It is not like it all matters anyway. When people like us for the watered down, socially acceptable version of ourselves we offer up for the judging, then we are painting ourselves into a corner and dooming ourselves to a life slightly less than honorable. We will be constantly looking for a way to fill the void that no one knows is there.

So, for all the people in my life who like the blurred edges of me, the me that is a little too loud, and often a little too much, I thank you. I love that you love me for me. I don’t have to hide or pretend.

For the rest of you:

I can’t make you love me. I don’t know that I want to. I would rather be that quirky girl who does not always wear socks that match. The girl who still loves to listen to bad music. The girl who secretly pines for a way to make a difference in this world. The girl who STILL can’t quite figure out punctuation, despite her intense desire to be a real writer.

So, what are you doing today to be you? How are you leaving your mark on the world? What colors are on your paintbrush? What words are in your story? Remember… I can’t make you love me, but when someone does, it is fan-freaking-tastic.

Sometimes my eyeliner is smeared and my mascara has clumped up beyond anything cute at all. Other times, I have deigned to show my face sans all the paint. You can like it or not. I can’t make you love me if you won’t.

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