To Shine or Not to Shine?

Find Your Tribe

The challenge of life is to find the tribe or community that we fit into naturally and to find a place where people encourage us to shine! There is innate beauty and a diversity of talents, gifts, and skills within each of us. These gifts are there as tools for us to complete our life’s journey.  Each of us has a unique purpose and each of us has been given the specific tools necessary for fulfilling that specific purpose. Some of these talents are visible, others need to be mined and developed.  However, a supportive tribe is critical for finding and becoming our true selves.

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Don’t Devalue Your Natural Gifts

The desire to fit in or the pain from exclusion can make us devalue our unique gifts if we are not careful. I remember a few years back  (as a test) for an entire weekend, consciously turning down my light, speaking less, and even changing the subject to put the spotlight on a specific person who didn’t usually shine in my company, but did seem to shine when I was not around. IT WAS EXHAUSTING.

Perhaps I overdid it and moderation was the key, BUT the person (who I sincerely cared about) began to shine and was sooooo happy. I ended up not not spending that much time over the next few years with the person because of the amount of emotional energy regulation it took to not shine so that they would feel more comfortable in my presence. All relationships can increase or deplete our energy. I’ve learned that it takes too much energy to be something other than who we really are. Some people just naturally exude less energy and some exude more, and taken on the whole, the balance of life is equalized. My energy comes from the joy I create from my goals, my gratitude for my gifts, and my desire to make the world a better place. My light is a bi-product.

Now, years later, again I am confronted with the same question. In one of my circles, I do not feel valued and am contemplating letting them go especially when I have joined some new circles that value me and my time is so limited. Should I just choose to only be around those folks that appreciate my bright light and stoke my fire (as I try to do for them), OR constantly turn my dial down around those that seem uncomfortable with my brilliant light?

Answer from the Mouths of Babes

I was discussing this question with my youngest daughter, about turning down my light, and she said, “Mom, isn’t that the opposite of what you told me to do when you shared the Marianne Williamson quote? From the mouths of babes and as a result of true consultation with someone who has purity of motive, I got my answer. I am choosing the former. I am choosing to find my tribe, to be around those who value my God-given talents, and encourage me to grow and shine.

I decided to re-read the quote and share it with you. Your thoughts?

“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.” Marianne Williamson

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