Turning 41: On Growing & Glowing... Together :)

Unrelated, but diary worthy, Izz gave me a belated birthday present today by going to nappy all by herself. Three kids in (and done, BTW) I know better than to hold my breath for a repeat any time real soon. But it sure is lovely, and for all I know, she may pleasantly surprise me tomorrow.

I tend not to make new year's resolutions, but in the past few years, birthdays seem to have more significance as turning points. With each year I try to shed yet more useless baggage and find that even without adding any new activity to the agenda, the act of shedding one thing that weighs on your psyche has a way of attracting goodness to your life exponentially. That really is how much space bad baggage takes up in our lives.

This year, I've consciously resolved not to shrink for the benefit of others anymore. Because I don't have to. Because I've learned some very difficult lessons and shed some very difficult people - people whom I had attracted to my life and kept because they fulfilled some unhealthy need in me, people I knew instinctively I had to shrink for in order to maintain seemingly peaceful relationships with them, people who would ultimately betray me in the worst ways when I finally decided I would live a full, robust, and authentic expression of myself, haters be damned. When I decided I would no longer allow or sometimes even encourage them to feel superior to me, or better than they were, out of the most misguided sense of emotional generosity.

It was seven years ago that I left that life and released all that I'd accumulated through it in order to set myself free of it. But I came to realize earlier this year that I still wasn't completely free of its baggage.

I had long rid myself of the people who needed me to contain my potential in order to feel secure in our relationships; I had married a man who basks in my successes with me; and I had even begun to build real and true friendships with fun, amazing, admirable, wonderful and trustworthy women... but I hadn't yet let go completely of the idea that I had to shine less in order for the people I loved to love me back fully.

It's taken me seven long years, but I've won my own trust back. I look around at the beautiful souls who inhabit my life and trust that I have chosen them well and wisely. I trust that they'll not only be there to share my sorrows, but just as importantly, that they will truly be rooting for my growth and success. 

Because they know in their souls we will all be changing, risking, daring, growing, and shining together.

“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, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"

Thank you for sharing this journey with me, peeps. Here's to shining in one another's lights.




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