This Christmas…Take Time to Re-Introduce Yourself to Yourself


Dear Reader:

Because of the different roles that men and women play in any particular society…it is easy to lose sight of ourselves, isn’t it? For most of us the day will come when we wake up, look in the mirror, and wonder where “me” went.

In the popular “chick flick” Runaway Bride (starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts) Gere’s character quietly picks up on the problem Julia’s character has in committing to another person…when she becomes involved in a relationship. He discovers in writing an article on her that her personal likes and dislikes dissipate while she “parrots” her partner’s likes and dislikes.

In other words…she loses her own identity in a relationship. Something as simple as how she likes her eggs…changes from relationship to relationship. Whatever her partner (at the time) likes…so does she.

She loses her “voice” and lets someone else make decisions for her…while wondering why she can’t be happy in a relationship.

Julia’s character is found in most of us…at least…in certain stages of our lives. It is easier to give into someone else’s demands than stand and make our own demands.

As we all go about our daily lives…we change roles as easily as an actor changes attire. We might start our the morning with our mom voice, then change to the demeanor of the teacher voice…one in authority…then sidestep a spouse’s (parent, roommate, etc.) demands while trying to maintain peace on the home front.”

As children (and adults) we all marveled at the tightrope walkers at circuses…but if we are frank with ourselves…we would admit that we walk a tightrope every single day of our lives.

I read a true anecdote the other day about one of my most favorite actors…Robert Redford. I have had a “crush” on him for decades now…but sadly….unrequited love….my “Bobby” doesn’t even know I exist.

Apparently a woman entered an elevator and found herself standing right next to the actor, Robert Redford. She made a quick second glance to ascertain it really was him (it was) and she felt her knees start to buckle and her face turn red. She knew she only had two floors to say something and she would regret this missed opportunity if she didn’t.

Right before the door opened on the top floor….the woman blurted out “Are you the REAL Robert Redford?”

With a hint of a smile Redford politely turned to face the woman and replied: “Only when I am alone.”

Obviously Redford knows himself well…a wisdom has grown in him more powerful than another pretty face.

Don’t you think both Joseph and Mary (and their respective families) must have thought the same thing? “Is this for real?”

When God calls on us…He only talks to the ‘real’ us….not the role we are playing at the moment…but the person who lies within. He guides us through the obstacles designed only for us…in order to reach the goals personalized just for us…

When we truly know who we are….only then can we say. “Here I am Lord”

Here I am Lord with lyrics – YouTube

So until tomorrow…with Christmas exactly a week away…Let us not get so lost in our busyness that we can’t answer God’s call when it arrives…with a  “Here I am Lord” response.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

* In yesterday’s blog on the race of life…I made a statement that hopefully somewhere along our personal life journey…we realize we are no longer racing to be first, to win a blue ribbon, or a prize…we are simply staying in the race and helping others along the way.

One thing that would remove so much pressure from our lives around the Christmas season…would be to understand that the “prize” in winning a race is not the reason for running it.

All we have to do is complete the race…in the best manner we can. To give it our all and let the chips fall where they may.

Gin-g Edwards sent a wonderful metaphorical story to visualize this thought. She says:

IMG_8803594745739 (1)

Becky, we have the cutest video clip of Ruthie climbing the steps at their house and Ellie is at the top encouraging her in her childlike way,,,”You can do it Ru, you’re almost there”…some of the words that Ellie says are like a 3 year old would do, but that baby girl listens to her BIG sister and climbs all the way to to the top…and the funny thing is when she gets there Stacy who is filming tries to get Ruthie to smile at the camera, but she is not the least bit interested in Stacy filming…she had her eyes on her own prize at the top…some toy and Ellie who did all of the cheering …well, she just gets up and goes on to do her own thing…so you are right …it is not the finish, but the actual race that counts…love you…

* The only other time (except when we are alone) that I think we are free to be our true selves is when we learn something new and feel like a child again…like when learning to ride a bike…or climb stairs like little Ruthie or sway on a rope swing like Eva Cate.

I mentioned yesterday that Eva Cate spent the night with me Tuesday evening…and yesterday morning we went out in the garden. Eva Cate has had a love/hate relationship going on with the rope swing tied to an old oak tree behind the garden for quite awhile.

This time, however, instead of asking me to lift her on the knot on the rope and push her…she just marched right up to it ….grabbed the rope…starting running and then hopped on the knot all by herself. She surprised herself and the sheer joy of accomplishing something she had been afraid to try…brought out an  exhilarating true “self” of Eva Cate that made a grandmother proud.

photo 2 (89)photo 2 (88)

Of course when Mandy came to pick up Eva Cate (with Jake) she had to keep going back outside to clap some more for this “amazing” accomplishment in her daughter’s eyes. (While I got to keep Jake and just chill…he’s a cool dude…nothing fazes him)…my kind of child.


* It’s Party Time Again! Some of you might remember that last year when my Walterboro buddy, Brooke, was c0-hosting the annual Christmas Party of the Year at her home…she did so sitting in a raised chair with her badly damaged knee propped up. The party must go on!

It really was a serious situation but Brooke worked hard at therapy and a year later she is standing and hosting her annual party standing tall (well, as tall as five feet nothing can bring). And just look at all her decorating….I told her we would call her “Miss Southern Living” 2014.

The party is later today….but come with me for a “sneak” tour.

* I have decided (after looking at her photos) that the secret to a beautiful home at Christmas is in the greenery.…these pictures have inspired me to go cut some later today.

FullSizeRender (26)FullSizeRender (25)FullSizeRender (24)FullSizeRender (23)FullSizeRender (22)FullSizeRender (21)FullSizeRender (20) fullsizerender-19  We are so proud of you Brookie for beating the odds (with that knee) and being able to outwalk and outparty everyone. Merry Christmas girl!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to This Christmas…Take Time to Re-Introduce Yourself to Yourself

  1. Gin-gEdwards says:

    Becky, Thank goodness you did get the picture. We were traveling and kept going through areas that had no service. Loved the entry today …hope to get by this week to hang out for a little spell.
    Happy that Eva Cate conquered the swing outside for her own personal satisfaction.


  2. Becky Dingle says:

    Please come by…had my last physical therapy session today…yeah….and practiced pulling on my new glove and sleeve and massaging my hand and arm….I have something for you too…and would just love to see you!


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