How to… Be Yourself

Today’s post comes from the example set by my oldest son who is celebrating his 14th birthday today. Before I launch into a diatribe of how he can’t possibly be 14 because I can’t possibly be old enough to have a 14-year-old, let me just say, “Happy Birthday, Jonathan! I love you!”

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“Don’t feel stupid if you don’t like what everyone else pretends to love.” – Emma Watson

The quote above fits my son oh so well because one of Jonathan’s biggest strengths lies with his self-confidence. He knows how to stay true to himself. As I thought about why that is and how that is evidenced in his life, 7 qualities that describe Jonathan stood out.

  1. Loyal. Jonathan has a friend others seem to avoid, but my son will choose his friend over an invitation to join the “cool” kids. Why? “He’s my friend, and I like him.”
  2. Individual. Jonathan listens to movie soundtracks like Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean and other classical-style music. He doesn’t like the music most kids his age listen to.
  3. Simple. Jeans, t-shirt and tennis shoes. So much like his dad.
  4. Teachable. He asks for help with his homework as much as he does with the social challenges boys his age face. He gathers input, makes a decision, and then commits to that decision fully.
  5. Diligent. Jonathan sets goals and does what’s necessary to reach them. He needs little supervision.
  6. Honest. Jonathan has always had a very guilty conscience, even as a toddler. He owns up to his mistakes quickly and is honest with his thoughts and opinions. While he is still learning how to better mitigate those responses, his honesty is certainly refreshing.
  7. Humorous. He doesn’t try to be funny. He does sort of “collect” humor from what he reads and watches, and then he makes it his own. Jonathan just says or does what he finds humorous, and he ends up being hilarious.

These 7 qualities not only illustrate how my son Jonathan stays true to who he is, they also offer valuable insight into how each one of us can learn to truly be our unique selves too. At least, he has certainly taught me that lesson in my own life over and over again during these past 14 years.

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God has gifted me with such an amazing son, and I look forward to learning more from Jonathan in the future!

DISCUSSION: What qualities in Jonathan do you want to cultivate in your own life? How do you plan to do this?

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13 thoughts on “How to… Be Yourself

  1. I am so pleased you pointed out the traits I am proud of in my oldest grandson, turning Jan 1st. And I am also dealing with fact I have not only a 9 year old grandson, but also 4 others below him. Merry Christmas. By the way, I profess the nut never falls far from the tree – ergo, his traits were entrenched in him by those who raised him.

  2. Sorry, I just got to this message! Yes, I do not do as much reading when home as on the road, too many other things to occupy my time. I do want to wish your son Jonathan a Happy Birthday. I believe you have done a great job as a parent, and the qualities you listed are ALL ones we can work toward improving in our lives in the year ahead! God Bless you and your family.

    • Funny! Strong-willed people often view other strong-willed people as stubborn. Project and magnify, right? I'm okay with my son being strong-willed as long as he remains teachable.

  3. Pingback: Are You Willing to Not Fit In? |

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