Why We Don’t Need to Be Like Anybody Else

Man Looking in Mirror

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” ~Anna Quindlen

When I first committed to becoming more spiritual, I decided that I wanted to be ‘perfect.’ I avoided red meat, cheese, alcohol, and sugar (and anything else that was considered “low vibration”), and ate organic food.

I never complained or uttered a negative word about anything or anyone. I meditated three to four times a day, when I woke up, in the afternoon, and at night before I went to sleep.

You’d never see an emotion on my face. I didn’t cry. I didn’t scream. And when I got angry, I quelled it like a storm that was forming in the distance that just didn’t have enough power.

I was serenity incarnate. I did everything I thought that true spirituality was.

And I fought and strained for my identity of perfection. This was how I was going to show up in the world.

The truth was, I preferred eating healthy. But at times I wanted to eat chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and cheeseburgers and watch mind-numbing reality television. I wanted to cry, get mad, and just have a good rant. But I suppressed it all.

While I was living in Los Angeles I went to a three-hour meditation event. I had no idea that it was going to change my entire life.

I paid at the front desk, walked to the back of the Metaphysical center, took off my shoes, and entered the room.

It smelled of sage and those instant light charcoals they burn in hookahs. There was a large copper triangle hanging from the ceiling. Pictures of chakras and angels hung on the walls. No music was playing, nor was anyone talking; all I heard was the shifting of people in their seats.

There were three rows of semi-circle seats. I sat in the back row. Each chair had one sheet of paper with a prayer to create sacred space. I picked mine up, folded it in half, and placed it in my lap.

I could feel my bare feet against the smooth carpet, the cold metal armrests against the forearms of my chair, and the remnants of sweat drying on my forehead.

The first two rows were almost full by a group of people in their late twenties and early thirties dressed in loose fitting white clothing. They wore cotton, arm length V-necks. Their pants flowing, cuffs ending just below the ankle bone.

A few minutes later, the workshop leader entered the room. He looked to be in his early thirties. From where I sat, no creases lined his eyes. He had chocolate brown hair that bounced as he walked, brown eyes, and olive skin.

He also dressed in white, loose fitting clothes, with black mala beads hanging around his neck.

Everyone in white greeted him. He smiled and greeted them.

He introduced himself, thanked us for attending, and led a prayer to create sacred space. His voice seemed to echo off the walls. Despite everyone else saying the prayer, he was the only one I could hear.

He asked everyone to sit down at the close of the prayer.

He sat at the front center of the room in an armless metal chair with a black cushion and crossed his legs. The mala beads around his neck shifted and clicked as he got into position.

The light from the ceiling seemed to shine down just right, illuminating the front of his face.

When he spoke, it felt kind.

He taught in stories and shared with us all of the places he’d traveled to and the lessons he’d learned along the way. He gave us mantras that we could use to bless the energy of a room and showed us ways that we could connect with our soul’s purpose.

Almost every sentence he spoke contained wisdom or something deeply profound.

My idea of ‘real spirituality’ and what I was working toward becoming was right in front of me.


I felt a pang of sadness. I stared at him speaking, back straight in his chair, relaxed chin, and his hands rested, one-on-top of the other in his lap. He never said an, “um” or an “oh.” Everything he did seemed effortless.

And the other people dressed in white (which I realized were his students) looked at him intently. No one spoke, looked at one another, or checked their phone. They all focused their attention on him.

My eyes dropped, I sank in my chair, slouching. My head hunched over staring at my lap. I realized I would never be like him. I’d never reach his level of spiritual awareness and composure.

But then it hit me.

Suddenly, me eyes widened, my mouth parted slightly, I took a deep breath and I felt a knowingness come over me. In my sadness, I realized that I didn’t want to be like this man.

It was absolutely impossible to attain his level of awareness because that was his unique expression in this world. I would never be like him because I wasn’t him, and he would never be like me, and that was the best part about it.

I had my own awareness to attain, my own mark to make upon this world. I wasn’t going to accomplish it trying to be someone else or an idea of perfection. I just had to be me and the rest would fall into place.

I sat straight up, neck straight, feet flat on the floor. I smiled, and then closed my eyes, knowing that I was absolutely perfect being myself. We all are. We just have to believe it and stop trying to be someone else.

Man looking in mirror image via Shutterstock

About Nicholas Pepe

Nicholas Pepe is an Energy Healer who specializes in helping women learn how to manage their emotions so that they can live with courage, confidence, and freedom. His clients often feel a release of negative emotions and begin to create loving and fulfilling relationships, accelerating their personal evolution. You can connect with him directly at nicholaspepe.com.

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