I’ve been thinking about inspirational quotes just now.
We share these a lot on social media, but I don’t think we ever really let them, or their meaning, sink in. The most inspiring quote I have encountered recently was actually Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones.
“Never forget what you are, Jon Snow. The world will not. Wear it like armor, so that it can never be used to hurt you.”
I live every day with the knowledge that due to a fact of my biology, I can never be 100% what society wants me to be. I will never pick up on body language and facial cues the way that other more “correct” people do naturally. I hold differing views and opinions and beliefs.
I am apparently “broken” in a society that is pushed by forces in big media to be entirely homogenous.
But I take Tyrion’s advice to heart– because it is also the advice of Lilith.
The best way I can paraphrase her:
“Take pride in who and what you are. You began as many different people, and through them, you discovered you, one soul at a time. Embrace what you found. Be the man you found. Accept you, and only you. Don’t take anyone else’s answer for your own. Because at the end, you won’t answer to them. You will answer to me, and I will have you be no one else.”
And that is easily the most inspiring thing I have heard in ages. It doesn’t mean I’m not flawed, or that I shouldn’t keep working to be better. It means that if I judge myself exclusively by how others see me, I will never grow. I will not be happy. I’ll always be someone other than me, for everyone wants me to be something different.
So take these words to heart. Love yourself such that you keep growing. Because at the end of the road… YOU don’t answer to THEM.