Free to be you… and me
Someone once told me that if I walked on my left foot while everyone else was walking on their right, I was going to trip and fall. This was said as an argument for not being different; as a way to persuade me to see that I’d better fall in line, do what was expected of me and behave as everyone else does or risk being ostracized.
This conversation occurred right as I was on the brink of embracing my now totally off the beaten path, decidedly “different” life. At that time I was vegan, just had a homebirth, was raising my then newborn in a media free, attached way and I was ruffling quite a few feathers. Little did I know how many more feathers I’d ruffle going forward.
Anyway, I’ve thought a lot about that comment over the years, particularly when I struggle with what it means to be different in a world that does not support it. Wouldn’t it just be easier to do things the way everyone else does? To just walk on the right foot and not stand out?
Well, sure it would!
And there would be nothing wrong with that, if that’s what I felt called to do.
But I don’t.
I never have been “normal”. 🙂
I have always been told that I march to the beat of my own drummer. But, growing up, the message from many places was that marching to my own beat was a bad thing. Something to fix or hide. As a result, until recently, I’ve been extremely ashamed of my differences, which is really another way of saying I’ve been ashamed of my light – of ME!
Now I find myself raising a child who is also marching to the beat of her own drummer. Is it genetic? Who knows? What I do know, is that I will not raise her in an environment that creates shame around her differences. Her differences are also her gifts! They are what make her special and they should be celebrated and nurtured.
The same holds true for all of us. Truth be told, no one is actually “normal”. We all have quirks and weird traits, no matter what lengths we may go to in order to hide them and blend in.
So, instead of hiding my light under a bushel basket, so to speak, and forcing my child to do the same, I’m now choosing to embrace my light. Shine my light. Parade my uniqueness around for all the world to see. And hopefully help some people along the way in doing so.
By living my life as me – exactly the way I was made – I’m encouraging my child to do the same. I’m telling her that it’s not only ok, but it’s BEAUTIFUL to be who you are. It’s ok to make choices that aren’t mainstream or, to think a bit differently, if that’s true to who you are. People who love and appreciate you will understand and support you, even if they don’t agree.
And, if you happen to get tripped up by some of those so called “right stepping” people from time to time, so be it. There will always be a safe place to land among the tribe you create for yourself.
Obviously, this isn’t always easy. But is it my experience that it’s always worth it.
So whether you’re gay in a straight family, a vegan among carnivores or a republican living a liberal city, stand up and embrace who you are! Shine your light! There is only one you. And only you have gifts that our world so desperately needs. Share them and be proud.
Here are six Bach flower remedies to help you on your way.
- Fear is probably the number one reason people hide in the shadows and never step into their potential. If a fear of failure, embarrassment, success or abandonment are present for you (or any other tangible fear you can name) give MIMULUS a go to uncover the courage in your heart. If your fear is more generalized anxiety or you just can’t put on a name on why you are afriad, try ASPEN instead.
- If there are things about yourself that you hate (be it looks, personality traits or the like) that hold you back from embracing who you are, choose CRAB APPLE to bring forth your own inherent self love.
- Choose WALNUT if you want to shine your light, but are easily persuaded by the opinions and energies of others, so end up following the crowd instead of standing out. It’ll reinforce energetic boundaries and provide a shell of protection so you can stay true to who you are.
- If a lack of belief in yourself and your gifts is the reason why you hide, try LARCH to reinforce your self confidence.
- And lastly, grab a few doses of CERATO if a general lack of faith in your decisions, and an inability to trust yourself, are issues for you. This flower remedy will strengthen your belief in yourself and the decisions you make and help you to hear the still, small voice of your intuition more clearly.
I can say from experience, that using the above flowers in various combinations has helped me to more easily embrace myself and my decisions and to stand strong when faced with opposition from others.
They’ve also helped me become more comfortable with the knowledge that I don’t have to agree with everyone and everyone doesn’t always have to agree with me. That doesn’t make one of us right, or one of us wrong. It just makes us different. And, to me, that’s a beautiful thing.