While I was walking to an appointment after work last week I caught a glimpse of myself in the reflection of a shop window on busy Market Street. The sun had come out after a rainy morning and the sidewalks were bustling with folks shopping, heading home, catching buses or cabs. I was startled to feel the sudden rush of pride rise up within my chest and the subsequent goofy grin spreading across my face. I thought--here I am, on the cusp of 27, living and working in one of my favorite cities; providing for myself financially, emotionally, spiritually. Here I am--a place I always dreamed of being. A suburban child, grand-daughter to a farmer, living a city gal's life. Even with my make-up free baby face, in my messy pony tail, ripped jeans and cowgirl boots...I looked...grown.
Maybe it was because I was riding waves of gratitude and simple happiness. Maybe it was because I had spent the better part of my day consciously releasing negative thoughts and thus arrived at a calm place of understanding for things transpiring in my life...an understanding that really centered around a total *lack* of understanding. "What will be will be", a decision to let go and flow. Or maybe it was because of my latest song obsession serenading me with the lyrics "I know my heart will never be the same, but I'm telling myself I'll be OK...even on my weakest days, I get a little bit stronger". Regardless, there was certainly something changed about me. I look at this face in a mirror every day--I criticize the bump in my nose, the curl of my upper lip when I smile or the crinkle in my forehead beginning to take shape. I sigh in frustration when my hair won't cooperate (does it ever actually cooperate?). I curse my skin for not being more Cover-Girl-radiant. But in that brief glimpse of myself in a shop window I saw only strength. I had, for the first time in a long time, nothing but love for the reflection I saw.
I don't want to be afraid to share my joy or my true self. I've realized that each time I sit at my keyboard to share my thoughts--I'm going for it. I've realized I've never been one to play it small. The more suppressed I feel the harder I inevitably come out fighting. I'm pushing the limits of my corner of the world, and you know what? You are all helping me break down these self-imposed limits...you are encouraging me to live bigger. I'd like to encourage you in the same way.
We all have gifts to share. We have talents. We have ideas and dreams. Yes--we ALL do. It's often scary as hell to put ourselves out there; to be vulnerable, to take risks. Fears of failure and rejection are powerful forces. But when we deny ourselves the right to express and share our true beings--when we deny these ideas and dreams the right to grow and thrive--we are not just limiting ourselves. We are, in so many ways, denying our communities the gifts of beauty and joy that lie within us. We are essentially saying that what we have to offer, regardless of the size, depth, "importance", is not good enough--when in reality it could be exactly what the world needs. "Say not you cannot gladden, elevate, and set free; that you have nothing of the grace of influence; that all you have to give is at the most only common bread and water..." - Canon George Body.
Look--I have no way of knowing what tomorrow will bring. I have no real idea what it is that my message, my mark, my purpose on this planet should be just yet. But I made it here. Here, this place that is often still so unsure. Here, this place where I know in my heart is exactly where I am supposed to be. Each day I get a little bit stronger and when I am blessed with a rare moment of nothing but self love, I'm going to honor it. I don't want to be afraid to share my joy and I don't want you to be afraid, either. "I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. " -Edward Everett Hale
The next time you look in the mirror, rest assured that the reflection you see is one of strength. It is stronger than you know and capable of big things. Because honestly, exactly who wins when you play it small?
Love and Light,