This article was published on the Huffington Post. You can read it here.

Someone sent me one of those quotes on social media recently after visiting my house that had me constantly revisiting it for the significance. It said and I quote, “Looking for that person that would change your life? Look in the mirror.”

Maybe I think too much for my own good, but it got me to thinking. So many times we look at people after just meeting them or hanging out a few times and we think, “Wow, this person is so inspiring…or charming or beautiful or kind or funny. I would love to be around them more.” (Maybe so that some of it can rub off and I can be charming and beautiful and kind and funny also!). But after a few times being around them you may realize that this person is not at all what you thought he/she was.

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photo credit – Ryan Moreno. http://www.unsplash.com

Has this ever happened to you? It has to me. I’ve been on both the receiving and giving end of this. Ever since I became an entrepreneur and motivational writer and speaker, many people are inspired when they meet me and admittedly I’m caught in this web of having to ‘live up’ to people’s expectations of that first impression. But I read an article recently when another motivational speaker was having this same dilemma, so I know I’m not alone.

The thing is, as human beings we expect people/situations to be a particular way all the time. It gives us a false sense of security and comfort and safety, because change scares us. We like to feel safe and protected and happy all the time. But life is fluid and all about change. Without change, there can be no evolution or adventure and excitement. Without sadness or challenges, we cannot appreciate true gladness.

People regardless of their profession or status in life have real lives too. Real fears, real insecurities, real challenges and real emotions. Because things appear a certain way on the outside, doesn’t mean that this is how things are all the time. When the doors are shut to the outside world and they go home to their lives, life happens and continues on.

They may be dealing with many challenges of a diverse nature, unbeknownst to you. But blessings and abundance are as a result of your heart and soul, not outward projections of material manifestations or challenging situations one is subject to.

Although I don’t know why my friend sent me this quote, we had a similar conversation before and when I received this, I told him that people don’t deserve to be placed on a pedestal, because most times it’s unrealistic to live up to. Spirituality teaches us to look to a Higher Being for guidance and wisdom, not people or material things because they will disappoint at some point.

When assessing relationships and the people you really want in your life, what matters is the character of the person which can only be appreciated over a period of time. When someone is able to see your character deep down inside despite all your foibles, they then learn to love you unconditionally for all that you are.

They love you on your sick days, your broke days, your depressed days, your angry days and your moody days too, because they know it’s not meant to stay and that’s not who you really are. When this happens, then that’s when you know that they are really for you and not for what you represent or can bring to their life.

It’s true nobody wants to be around a sourpuss or Dr. Jekyll and Hyde type alter ego, but most times this is not the case with well adjusted, healthy people and despite the bad days and challenges expected in life, the real you will be able to penetrate and shine through most of the time.

So don’t judge a book by its cover and choose wisely who you allow into your inner circle! It can either make you or break you.

Carolyn K. Correia is the author of Thinking out Loud, How To Find Yourself and Claim What’s Yours and she missed the boat on love. She is also a communications consultant, freelance writer, blogger and motivational speaker. Learn more here www.carolyncorreia.com or stay updated on Facebook –CarolynCorreiaAuthor.

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