“Shine with all you have. When someone tries to blow you out, just take their oxygen and burn brighter.” ~ Katelyn S. Irons
When I was in 9th or 10th grade, I don’t remember exactly, two of my closest friends, who were also my classmates, stopped talking to me because they got mad at the fact that almost all the guys that they liked, seemed to be more interested in me than they were in them. And so they decided that they no longer wanted to be friends with me.
I felt very hurt by the whole incident, and even though I wanted them to know that I wasn’t really interested in any of the guys that they liked, and that it wasn’t really my fault that they liked me, they didn’t seem to care. And they ignored me completely after that.
I think that was the first time when I learned that it wasn’t okay to shine. That it wasn’t okay to be who you really are because some people might have a problem with that. And so I tried to keep my inner light from shining. I tried as hard as I could not to be noticed so that I won’t “offend” anyone with my presence and existence. But as time went by, life took me places. It taught me things I didn’t know, and it gave me experiences that made me aware of the fact that one of the worst things you can do to yourself, and to the world around you, is to hide yourself from yourself. And so, I decided to honor who I really was, even if that meant “offending” some people in the process.
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~ Dr. Seuss
I remember someone commenting to the talk I gave at A-Fest, How to Turn Wounds into Wisdom, calling me names, and trying very hard to make me understand that I should be ashamed of myself for talking so openly about my wounds and past hurts, and about the pain I went through when I was younger. And I remember feeling so confused about it, not understanding how in the world can someone react in such a toxic and negative way to something that was so raw, so pure. To something that came from the heart, and was meant to go to other hearts…
We live a world full of people. A world where, no matter what you say or do, and no matter how kind and loving you are, there will always be some people that have a problem with you. There will always be some people that will have all kind of colorful names and labels to place on you. But if are conscious and aware, and if you live your life from a place of truth, love and integrity, you will know how not to take things personally. And deep down in your heart you will understand that when people judge and criticize you, their words and behaviors says little or nothing about you, but a lot about who they themselves are.
The world is as it is. People are as they are, but if we have love in our hearts, and peace in our minds, we will not allow anything, or anyone, to make us think that it’s wrong to be ourselves and that we should dim our light just because they prefer the darkness.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
I love how Marianne Williamson speaks about this topic: “Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around us… Nothing enlightened about hiding ourselves just because some people can’t handle your presence and existence… Life isn’t about being who others want us to be, but being who we were born to be. It’s about letting our own light shine, and hoping that by doing so, we inspire others to do the same. And if there are people who get “offended” by how bright our inner light is shining, that’s something they need to deal with.
A lot of people hide themselves from themselves, pretending to be something they are not, and behaving in ways that would make others happy, but not themselves. And in this process of trying to be a “good human”, they lose touch with who they are, and they lose they inner sparkle. People have a tendency to look around them and adapt their pace and behavior to that of those around them. I guess that’s because of our need for belongings, our need to connect and feel that we are accepted by those around us. And even though it’s nice to feel that you belong somewhere and that people love and approve of you, if these things are acquired at the price of losing your true identity, they aren’t really worth having. You want people to love you for who you truly are, and not for something you pretend to be. Each and every one of us is unique and special in our own way. And by trying to be like everyone else, we whittle ourselves away.
“I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.” ~Hafiz
Never allow this mad world to make you think that who you are is not enough and that you have to whittle yourself away just so that you can fit in. Always be yourself. A first rate version of yourself, not a cheap version of everyone else. Because remember, an original is worth a LOT more than copy. So have the courage to be yourself. Stand out. Be an original!
With all my love,
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