I see you.
You see you, too.
And the parts of you you can’t quite make out right now… the stuff in you that’s still developing like a Polaroid? You keep on squinting and fanning to see it. Why? Because deep down inside, you believe – or you want to believe real bad.
But your expectation of time has been ignored. The deadlines “in pen” you created for your stellar plans are missed – even the extensions of time you so graciously gave to Life to finally reveal your awesomeness.
You’re left feeling like a failure, inadequate, and like a fool’s fool for even trying as long as you did.
Then, here comes people. Individuals who 1) have no idea where they’re going, not alone can tell you how to reach your destination, or 2) you kinda desperately (lol) wanted to please or make them proud, or 3) seem to rightfully criticize your life, because…”just look at ’em…they have it all together.”
Now, on top of inadequacy and failure, you develop this relentless urge to protect yourself and drift into obscurity.
Aside from finding a rock big enough to crawl under, you begin to engage in self-deprecating behavior: you make negative statements about yourself to “beat others to the punch”…you make yourself a constant victim or downplay your skills and abilities, so no one will expect anything from you.
In essence, my friend, you have gradually disappeared; you have solved a nonexistent problem by dimming your light.
Well, I’ve got good news for you. You can quit the disappearing act today! Resign from the magic show called your life.
Now, you may say, “Kim, this is no act! How can I quit? I really feel these emotions!”
First, I’ve said those exact words before :-). I get that quitting (whatever) isn’t easy, but it is possible.
The disappearing act is filled with ACTIONS that are driven by a choice or thought. What you (and I) feel may very well be real, but we also have the very real option to choose a different and better feeling, thought, or action.
Remember, quitting is not just about stopping a negative behavior dead in its tracks; it’s about replacement with a loving, positive behavior! For every “I can’t”, declare “I can!” For every tinge of fear, declare “I have the courage to go/do/be while I’m afraid!” That’s honest. It may not be quick or easy or pain-free, but it’s possible and worth it!
This magic act is not for you.
There are consequences to every choice we make in our lives. Choosing to dim your light and disappear is never a wise choice… and here are some of the pitfalls to prove it:
1. (Dark) Practice Makes Perfect (Darkness)
Honestly, you want to shine. We all do. But will the light come back when you want it? Just like that? Probably not. See, when you train yourself to respond to life in a certain way, over and over, you become a well-oiled machine. A habit. The more you practice being who you aren’t, the harder it becomes to be who you truly are! And factoring in time – if it took you two years to perfect darkness, how long will it take to heal, change your thoughts and actions, and thrive in your new light? Dimming your light is a lose-lose payoff.
2. Never knowing who you could have been.
Have you done anything new since the 4th grade? Sure you have! You’ve been in love, driven a car, cooked a full meal, got hired, traveled more than 200mi away from home, graduated high school. Little things that were once humongous. It took courage to grow and to be fearless in the face of unknowns. Newsflash: There are more unknowns out there for you to face – strengths, conquests, success inside you NOW that you’ve never met. Don’t miss the introduction playing yourself into fear’s hands. S/he (YOU) can actually do some pretty cool stuff. But you’ve got to turn on your light to see it!
3. Your darkness is my darkness…and vice versa.
It’s not just about you. God created us all as connected beings. When two people flick a lighter in a dark room, there’s no delineation between light from Person A and Person B. Person A can’t say to Person B, “Look, my light is brighter than yours!” There’s just light, and their light together is greater, more helpful, shines brighter than just one light alone. Someone is depending on your life light! You were created because creation needed a “you”!
So, let’s pack up the magic wands, and hocus pocus. We’ve all got some shining to do! Doesn’t matter if it’s just a spark. Rock that spark till it becomes as bright as it was purposed to be.