“You know what attracted you to me? The way you don’t apologise for who you are”
That was 4 years ago and somewhere between that conversation, all the moments, circumstances and conversations past, and the present I changed.
Sure, I tried to get it back. Half-heartedly really; I even began 2015 with a drive to kick some butt. I even wrote a blog about it. I said I wouldn’t be afraid to sing again…
Now, it wasn’t that I completely lost myself, I even took a few steps forward. I got a bit of my backbone together again, I took a huge step in my health (and constantly need to remind myself of that), I achieved a few good bits.
But when I look in the mirror I noticed one thing.
I lost the light in my eyes.
I was looking through some old photos and wondered what was different. Yeah my hair was different, but that’s not abnormal. I am thinner now. Okay, fine. But what? It was deeper, it was in my soul. Cue dramatic music.
Seriously though? What was it that took away my drive? What was it that made the shine disappear.
And then it came to me…quietly.
I allowed people to affect me.
I allowed rejection to overcome me. I allowed other’s opinions take over. I allowed other people’s standards to affect mine.
I put less emphasis on the way I wanted to live my life and the dreams I had, the goals I set for myself to be determined by “them”.
oh the dreaded “them”. Who is that? Well, it can be what we believe others think of us. It can be the parent who doesn’t seem care enough or the boyfriend who breaks up with you. It can be the girls’ at the gym who stare. It can be the boss that tries to bring you down because of his or her insecurities. It can be standards of the culture or world we live in.
Except that years ago I chose not to live by the standards of others. I chose to live for God, with excellence, with grace & forgiveness.
“Never apologize for having high standards. People who really want to be in your life will rise up to meet them.”
Well, somewhere along the line I started to apologise.
And somewhere along the line the shine in my eyes started to dim.
We all go through ups and downs in life. The darkest times do often bring the brightest lights, but it’s when we allow those moments, those people to define us, then we lose our way.
No one is perfect all the time. I love the fact that I am a really hard person to read, that I have high standards, that I can swear like the best of them one minute, but then have a philosophical discussion on the existence of love in this world the next. I like the fact that I am not like everyone else and that I live with a hope greater than this world. This world is hard and I wouldn’t want to do it any other way.
And I miss the girl who didn’t give a … (ahem)
Because that girl got sh*t done and I have pushed her away for too long.
And I have one life. One moment to make my mark. Why am I allowing anything, anyone to stop that?
I will find my focus. You find yours. I will not apologise for who I am. I will be more vulnerable. I will dream more. I will take time to do what I need to do. I will say yes and I will say no. I will not allow fear to overcome me but instead remember that I have been given a spirit which overcomes fear. I will sing. I will dance. I will watch obscure movies. I will kiss more. I will worship more. I will be me. Can you be you? Because I love it when you are you.
So, here is to 2016 and letting that light shine.
“…Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were 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.” ‘A Return To Love’ (1992) by Marianne Williamson