I caught one of my daughters doing it once.
It made me cringe.
And no-it has nothing to do with a crimping iron.
Or doing the cabbage patch.
(Although I am still pretty good at that one.)
It has to do with backing down, making excuses or just plain diminishing who I am or what I’m doing in an effort to make other people feel better.
Somewhere along the way I anointed myself “The One Who Needs to Take Care of Everyone’s Feelings” and what’s really weird is that I just found out that no one else really needs me to! Ok. Well. Little Man might need me to but that’s different!
I caught myself the other day hesitant to tell a friend about some good fortune that had come my way. I knew she would feel bad or envious so I just downplayed it all.
And was then promptly pissy about it to Mr. Man.
And when he pointed out how silly it was I started to think…
I went to a Moxy Project Workshop (http://www.themoxyproject.com/) last month where we focused a lot on the fact that we all operate and respond to situations based on a belief or story we learned along the way. The truth is-those old stories are often not valid or true anymore. We talked a lot about taking ownership and writing our new stories.
I’ve been mulling this over quite a bit and it’s starting to sink in. (I’m thick and stubborn sometimes so it takes time for me to come to Jesus and see things how they really are!)
I realize I get trapped in a guilty feeling when something good comes along because if people around me are miserable then I should be too. I mean, who am I to have a great life? The truth is this: I’ve made many hard decisions in my life to get me where I am today. Some were smart. Plenty were not. But I made them and I kept going, made the best of things and moved forward. That has placed me in a situation where my life is good and blessed and plentiful and even fun. And that-I don’t need to be guilty for. I have a humble pride in what I’ve done in life and what I’ve created. I feel good about who I am and that’s ok!
One of my first ever favorite quotes in life is often attributed to Nelson Mandela but it actually came from a book by Marianne Williamson.
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 is not just in some of us; it is 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.
Thank you Ms. Williamson.
I will not shrink.
I will let my light shine.
And the next time I see my daughter shrink I will remind her to stand tall, let her light shine encouraging and inviting others in her presence to do the same.