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  • Writer's pictureSteve Braun

Be Yourself. No More, No Less

My cat hates me.

We rescued her this past Sunday (long story) and she's 2 years old.

Her name is Penelope Cruz.

We didn't name her but we call her Penny for short.

I'm starting to think Pennywise might be more appropriate.

It can be a humbling experience when someone or, in this case, something doesn’t like

you. Today I’m able to shrug it off and not take it personally but that wasn’t always the

case. In my addiction and even in my early sobriety, I needed everyone to like me and I

would say and do almost anything to get attention. I was a people pleaser and a social


In recovery, I discovered another way to live. By working through my fear, shame and

guilt, I built a life to be proud of. As self-doubt was removed, it was replaced with

self-confidence. I strive to be authentic with myself and others–congruent in my actions,

ideals, values and morals. I like who I am today!

I have come to accept that not everyone is going to like me, and I am perfectly okay with

that. I don’t have to please everyone or be everything to everybody. I can just be

myself–no more, no less. Trying to be someone you’re not is exhausting. Today I am free

of the bondage of self.

Do I want people to like me? Sure! Who doesn’t? But I won’t jeopardize my integrity to do

so. I think that’s why I like cats: they don’t need your approval and they don’t give a shit

what you think about them.

As for Penny? I’m hopeful that she will come around. If not, I will still treat her with

respect, offer her patience, and show her love and understanding. I can’t convince anyone with my words–especially a cat……but I’m confident that my

actions will, in time.

If you have trouble setting boundaries and can relate to being a people pleaser or a

social chameleon, give me a shout! I would love to help you discover your authentic self.

Steve Braun

Call or Text: 778.932.1978

About the Author: Steve currently resides in the sunny Okanagan in British Columbia Canada where he spends his free time camping at remote lakes chasing monster rainbow trout with a flyrod.

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