Be Your Light

One of the most memorable compliments I have ever received was when I was 17. I was in a performing arts workshop and one of the teachers said to me, “You are a light”. I thought it was a sweet compliment then, but it took me many years to truly know what he meant and how absolutely beautiful those words are. Through years of being dimmed and finally finding my way back to the light I have a better understanding. Just like a candle our light can be dimmed and even extinguished, but your light can always be re-lit. There are elements beyond our control that may trigger a flicker. The best you can do is wait those out and come back to the light when you can, that’s okay, you will come back. You may feel as though you aren’t a light at all and I’m here to tell you that you are wrong. You may be dimmed; we will get you back to full brightness. You deserve to shine my friend, let me help encourage you.

Ultimately the decision to shine is yours. You decide to shine every time you choose to follow your happiness unapologetically. What does that mean exactly? It means listening to the thoughts that make your heart happy. So, take a minute to think about that. You may think of a person at first, but I’m going to ask you to take it a step further. People help us to be happy, but they are their own entity and not in our control, so we will focus first on what we can control. Focus on an activity, hobby, song, place, food… anything in your control that brings you joy. Maybe you have a love for roman history or buttermilk biscuits. It could be video games or sailing or old books or office supplies. Maybe house plants and hot tea fill you with joy. Maybe it’s motorcycles and car engines. Whatever it is, embrace it. Right now, take the time to think about your thing or things, whatever makes you tick.

۰musical theatre۰the process of coffee۰my garden۰yoga۰ceramics۰making beautiful displays
۰marketing۰the smell of fireworks۰singing۰nonfiction books۰sunflower yellow۰the stage
۰fiber arts۰hosting dinner parties۰home renovation۰volunteer work۰painting۰notebooks

Those are my things. The items, thoughts, processes, activities, and ideas that bring me joy. Did you come up with your list? What do we do with it now? We live it. We take the time to surround ourselves with the things that we love. We paint our door bright red, we learn to fly a plane, we share our passions with those around us! We share our things with others because that is when our light shines the brightest. When we begin to live our life in sync with what we love we also begin to show our light for everybody to see. It is freaking magic!

With all things bright, there are always those who prefer the dark. Pay no attention to them but always give them your grace. Those who don’t want to see you shine are currently living dimmed. It happens, we’ve all been there. Your job is to not let their darkness dim you. This can be hard to do because it isn’t always apparent that it is happening. It’s even harder when it comes from those closest to you. Do you have a friend that always tries to one up you? Has a loved one ever told you that they don’t care about something you are super excited about, or possibly just changed the subject or talked over you? Have you ever been told to give up on a goal because “it just won’t work”? These are all light dimmers. They may have been done with the best of intentions, or were completely unintentional, but they still hurt. If it happens enough it may seem easier to just turn your shine down a little, besides it may just help the relationship. Darling, don’t fall for that. The only way to help those around you find their light is to continue to shine yourself. If somebody asks you to turn down your light it may be time to ask yourself if their relationship is worth holding onto. There is nothing wrong with getting rid of or limiting your time with people that dim you. If it is somebody close you can always talk to them, just remember how it felt to not live your passions and know that it’s hard to see the light at the end of tunnel in that moment.

Maybe you found yourself in the dimmers, I will tell you again that it is a choice. You make the decision to shine. If somebody is shining brighter than you don’t dim them. Don’t cut them down, don’t let your jealousy fuel you. You gain nothing by extinguishing others. All you can do is write your list. Find those things that bring you pure joy and begin to align your life around them. It doesn’t have to be extreme. Choose one item and go all in on it. If you love bowling, make a point to go once a week. Bake a cake and eat it too if that is your thing. Take a language class. Whatever is going feed your flame, do it and don’t be afraid to share it with those around you.

There is no need to try and shine brighter than anybody else. Life is not a competition. When everybody shines there is more light to share. I’m here to tell you that you are a light. Even if it doesn’t feel that way now, you are. Write your list, realign, and continue to shine. Don’t let others dim you and take special care in making sure that you don’t dim others. Talk about that things that bring you joy. Talk with excitement, let your eyes glitter, feel the bubbling of joy. Do it often, do it freely, and for your own sake shine like the sun. Be your own light, only then can you be a light for others.

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