Do you like who you are?
♫ This little light of mine…♫
Remember that song from your childhood? The one that reminds you to let your light shine?
It was written as a gospel song for children, but for much of my adult life, I have related to the lyrics when feeling aligned with who I was called to be.
In order to let your light shine, you have to like yourself.
Full Disclosure: I’ve never had an issue with liking who I am. I LOVE ME (while painfully aware others do not – acquired taste, people). I wanna marry me – or at least, I would if I could, and I would totally be my bff.
Yet, in all that self-assured self-love (get your mind outta the gutta!), there have most assuredly been times when I have doubted myself, have wondered who the hell I thought I was, and have even crowned myself The Assiest Ass Whoever Assed.
But, to answer my own question of do you like who you are? Yes. Yes, I do.
I’m hoping like hell the answer is yes…ALL THE YESES!
If not, if you’re not sure you like you, if you’re on the fence about you, what can you do about it?
Can you simply tell the heart not to believe what it believes?
I don’t think so.
When we believe anything, that belief is based on events, information, and culture. If we have been raised to believe, if we have lived a life saturated in opinion that bends us in spirit to accommodate a belief, if we feel there is a significant price to pay (physically, mentally or spiritually) for difference of thought, then most of us stay the course with the majority.
That was then; this is now. You’re a grown-ass adult. You get to believe what you want.
You are allowed to like yourself, right where you are, complexities and scars evident to all.
How to begin?
Start a focused and serious campaign with you, to sway you to the affirmative aisle of self-acceptance.
Listen, life can be a fucking shit-show. We each carry bags, sealed tight to the outside world, that if accidentally opened, would reveal our gaping gory wounds.
The magical secret is we’re all in this together – ain’t no one getting out alive. We’re all wounded and trying to keep it hidden from ever’one.
Maybe you feel no one understands (we do). Or, your situation is unique (meh). Or, that you carry the nastiest bag in the world and if anyone caught a glimpse, they’d run and wouldn’t like you either (yeah, okay…no).
In this case, you’re not so special. You’re one of us.
Maybe you were never allowed to fully grieve the events you faced. Or maybe you thought it weak to do so. Or maybe all-the-whatevers here.
It’s time to take the trash out, y’all.
I’m gonna tell you what works for me when I’m cut by life’s rusty kitchen knife.
Before I do, I want to assure you I have a buttload of issues too. While loving who I am has never ever been one of them, I’m just like you when it comes to wanting to work things out and move forward. Life is dirty and bloody and needs a daily throat-punch, but there are ways to overcome whatever you face.
How do I know?
Because I have, that’s how.
I wish a simple STOP IT! would help, but I’ve seen enough to know it won’t.
How can you let your light shine when you don’t believe it’s worthy of the warmth it offers?
Give yourself permission to do whatever it takes to start believing.
If it means sharing your burden with friends – share it.
If it means crying in the chip aisle in a grocery store (done it) – cry in the aisle.
If it means long walks contemplating the whys and hows of where you find yourself – get to walking.
If it means talking to a therapist, sharing in a sacred circle or laying things out to your dog – start talking.
If it means dropping to your knees to pray for guidance – stop, drop and pray.
If it means simply telling yourself that you may not believe it now, but you’re gonna (even if this feels like a lie) – tell yourself.
This method has three simple steps:
#1: You must start.
#2: You must be brutally honest with yourself.
#3: There is no timeline for completion.
There’s no: in a week, month or year, business. You pull on your wading boots and get into the pit. Stay there till the job is done.
Here’s the life-affirming fairy dust: once you take control of a shitty situation, even in the smallest of ways, life starts to react.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction: Newton’s Third Law of Motion. It’s SCIENCE!
Step One: You enter the tunnel of hell, you fight your fucking demons, then suddenly, one unexpected day, there it is – a glimmer of light – YOUR LIGHT!
The key to flipping the situation on its arse, to any issue really, is to start the hard work.
Step Two: No lies. No being pretend-kind to yourself by softening the truth of what needs to be changed. That will only serve to stall your progress. Acknowledge your responsibility in the situation and how you have allowed yourself to avoid facing the hard bits in your life. Look yourself in the mirror. Promise yourself that you’re going to do the best you can by you. Remind yourself that you’re the only person who can change you, and that you will see the process through, no matter how messy or uncomfortable it gets.
Step Three: Keep working towards resolution until, well, you think you’re as swell as we do!
It’s that simple and gut-wrenchingly difficult.
You can turn things around. You can go from being neck-deep in the blackest pit, to a new day of embracing the light only you can shine.
Now get to the work. Your best days await.
♫…let it shine, let it shine, let it shine! ♫
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