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“Don’t you dare shrink yourself for someone else’s comfort- Do not become small for people who refuse to grow” Steve Maraboil

As children, we often want to fit in rather than stand out. We fight to be just like our friends, to look like them, act like them, talk like them. Fitting in is the goal.

We then grow up and realize there’s nothing worse than being just like everyone else.

I have learned to love myself as I am. Without conditions, without needing to fit in. And while I did decide to marry someone, I know I would have been perfectly fine all on my own.

No matter what your choice, you shouldn’t have to change your belief system or who you are at your core to fit in with anyone – not with your friends, not with your partner, not with your family. You do not owe any human an apology or reason for being who you are or choosing what you choose.

The truth is, no one will ever truly “get you” completely. So be unapologetically you at all times and at all costs. Like the quote says, “Do not become small for people who refuse to grow.”

If you have a dream, make it a reality. If you have an idea, take it and make an actionable plan out of it. You’ll waste precious time if you try explaining yourself every single step of the way.

You can explain some of your journey to others, selective snippets that you decide to divulge, but it all stops there. Your journey will always be different than the person’s sitting next to you.

No one needs to understand exactly how you see life or why you think the way that you do. And that’s what makes all of our interactions and relationships so interesting. Our different backgrounds, our points of view, our array of opinions.

While we share the common human experience, each of us are healing from different pains and pasts. Your passion may be different than your best friend’s or boyfriend’s, but if you can learn to respect and admire those very differences, you can foster a beautiful relationship. Not only with them, but within yourself.

What we can do is listen wholeheartedly and give others grace while they are on their own unique journey. We can try and relate in ways we see fit, without any judgment.

I don’t share my experiences with others so that they can agree, I share them so I can be seen and heard. I share them so that maybe someone can learn from my painful mistakes. I share them so I can create deep and meaningful connections while on this path.

And if someone doesn’t like what they hear or doesn’t agree with my life choices, then I am proud of them for having their own voice and for standing up for what they truly believe in (www.karendominique.com).

Love Deeply and Forever

Karen Dominique; co-author of “A Man for Every Purpose, My Naked Journey Searching for Love” And founder of Millennial Mouth where she candidly blogs.