“there will be flowers, COLETTE, that only you can pick. Butterflies, that only you will see. Laughter and tears that only you will know. And dreams that only you can dream.” Colette Cyrus-Burnett, Lead Magic Maker at Super Wings NY
I saw this quote today posted on Facebook by my friend Colette and it so captured the essence of being yourself. There is a journey, a path of sorts that only YOU will make, seeing things that only you will see, having experiences that are unique to you….once you allow it.
I have found that I’ve been “trying to be like…” for so long that I sense that finding my way back to myself will take time. I just need to be consciously aware as I take daily steps. Because life always gives us clues. Our souls are trying to gently guide us back to ourselves if we will allow the process.
Parker J Palmer says that our past gives us clues too. He says that we can look back at the stories we remember about ourselves, or those that others remember about us, since our younger years were years when we lived closer to our birthright gifts.
I distinctly remember pretending that I was preaching and I also remember attempting many times to create my own book using my very own cartoon designs. This definitely hints at perhaps what my soul wants to do – share ideas, teach, help people, guide people using the power of the written word.
I have run from my gifts many times. I have tried to hide them. I have tried to avoid myself but the heart of who I am seems to never sleep. It’s like a restless form that needs expression and the only time that you will feel at peace is when you allow this expression room to take shape. If not – it will haunt you forever.
In his essay ‘Now I Become Myself’ Parker J Palmer explains “We arrive in this world with birthright gifts—then we spend the first half of our lives abandoning them or letting others disabuse us of them. As young people, we are surrounded by expectations that may have little to do with who we really are, expectations held by people who are not trying to discern our self-hood but to fit us into slots. In families, schools, workplaces, and religious communities, we are trained away from true self toward images of acceptability; under social pressures like racism and sexism our original shape is deformed beyond recognition; and we ourselves, driven by fear, too often betray true self to gain the approval of others.”
This is why we distract ourselves so much with TV and technology and talking and doing. And when we finally sleep it’s a fitful one because we know that what we truly need is to awaken to ourselves and share our gifts. Those gifts aren’t going anywhere. They’ve been planted in us and we must muster the faith and trust in those gifts. When we do we naturally move towards fulfilling our reason for being – no struggle, no fight, no stretching, no straining.
How do you find the right work, the work that you alone are called to do?
Parker says that he found that discovering vocation does not mean scrambling toward some prize just beyond his reach but accepting the treasure of true self that he already possesses. “Vocation does not come from a voice “out there” calling me to become something I am not. It comes from a voice “in here” calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfill the original self-hood given me at birth by God.”
“I would much rather have regrets about not doing what people said, than regretting not doing what my heart led me to and wondering what life had been like if I’d just been myself.” – Brittany Renee
Today, join me in taking direction from your soul that’s been stirring to get your attention to be YOU. It may be harder than pretending to be someone else, But it’s worth it!
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