Will you hate me if I tell you I own two pairs of Christian Louboutin shoes? Will you like me more if I tell you that each time I bought a pair I worried that I couldn’t afford them?

Would you keep reading if you thought I was wearing a size 2 Marc Jacobs dress as I type this? Or would I be more likeable if it were a size 12 dress from J.Crew? Or what if I told you that I’m writing this in my nightie and slippers at my home computer with my hair in a ratty ponytail? – Sarah Hampson 

Umm…whoa. I know that place. You know it too, right?

I want to share with you the radiant, shiny joy that I feel in my life, but I don’t want to make you feel badly that you may not have what I have, so let me show you all the ways I or my life has sucked. Let me open up the kimono on my finances. Let me tell you about my weight struggles. Let me tell you about the dark places in my marriage. So we’ll both feel better.*

That there is a slippery slope, my friends. One of many set up by the Impostor Complex.

Oh, I get it. We ALLLLLL get it.

Underneath the behaviour of shrouding my joy is fear. That you will walk away. That you will “unfriend” me. That I will be alone.

I know you know this too.

Maybe because it actually happened to you. You committed, as Gay Hendricks calls it, the crime of outshining…unwittingly. You were in favour with people and then suddenly, the ground fell away beneath you. Maybe you garnered attention from someone important, or won an award, or wore the newest style before anyone else, or were simply too happy, smart, or sporty. Then your friends started to pull away.  Maybe they became unkind. Maybe you were cut off.

Yup. I get it, because I was.

Listen, the Mama in me wants to tell you what your Mama told you when you were a kid:: they were never your true friends.

That’s a fact.

Still, that didn’t ease the sting, did it?

And that crap happened to you when you didn’t even DO anything, right? You were just being sporty, being smart, being happy. Being you. Glorious, wonderful you. And being wonderful became a dangerous place. So you shrouded.

Just as we are terrified of having our shadow places exposed (our worries, flaws, fears, faults) so too are we terrified of having our light exposed (our joys, our shine). And so we shroud. And then we shroud some more.

God forbid we own, appreciate or, CELEBRATE that which is going well in our lives and in our work. Our own natural wonderfulness (and oh, Honey? You are so wonderful).  Add that layer called CELEBRATION and then we’ve moved beyond what Hendricks called a crime and have moved well into the land of sin.

The sin of (out)shining.  

And it’s veritable minefield of labels, sticks and stones. But let’s explore anyways, shall we?

+++++++

Yeah. Your Mama was right. Those kids in grade school were shits (my words, her thoughts). They weren’t worthy of you or  your smarty, happy, sporty self. Your YOUness. You’re savvy enough to see NOW that their unkindness was a product of their own insecurities, worries and deep fears of being alone too. It’s a troublesome spiral, to be sure. And we can circle back and find compassion and empathy and kindness for their souls (and maybe even forgiveness) at any moment, at any time, always and forever, but for the moment, let’s be here with you. With the impact of their taunts and shunning.

Oof.

Take their words, their behaviours, and their labels. Take every little (and big) piece of hurt that you’ve been carrying since grade school, or since that meeting in the boardroom, or since that Facebook comment on your status. Every last word that has haunted you. Write them all down. On one piece of paper. Write as small as you need to get it all in. And do get it all in. Every teensy assertion intended to diminish your light.

And then? Take that paper and light a match to it. Let it go. Watch as the untruths burn and curl in on themselves, ashamed for their part. Give over the hurt, the pain and the sadness. Give over that which never served. Because it NEVER served.

Let it go. Let it go. Let it go.

+++++++++

Onward.

Here’s the stone cold soul truth from my girl Hannah:: You glowing lights other people up.

Ah, yes.

Not everyone, mind you, but YOUR people.

So gather them up. Find your flock with whom you can preen each others beautiful feathers. Find the fiery witnesses to your love, to your joy and to your pain. They’re here, they’re there, they’re everywhere and they are looking for you too.

Stay open and available to their grace.

And then what do we do?

We need to trust ourselves. We need to trust each other. – Justine Musk

Let’s trust ourselves.

Let’s trust our purpose here. We are not accidents. We are divinely intended.

Let’s trust that we are integral to the choir.  And that our voices need to be heard so that others can sing along. Let’s trust that our essence, our art, our heart, our soul is required.

Then, let’s trust each other.

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

Trust that you will not diminish me with your success. Nor will I diminish you with mine.

Trust that I can hold your joy and your sorrow and your ecstasy and everything in between.

Let’s trust each other with our humanness. Let’s trust that we will fall. We will stand back up. We will stumble. We will cry. We will bleed. We will create. We will dance.  We will be it all and we will be nothing. Together.

And finally, let’s sin together. Let’s shine together.

State your joy. Full stop. No qualifiers, descriptors or shrouding allowed. We don’t do that anymore. Allow me to state my joy. Full stop.

Authenticity is authenticity. It’s not the light with qualifiers and conditions. It’s not the shadow with qualifiers and conditions.

It.just.IS.

Your shining makes me shine brighter. Your success is my inspiration. I will trust that the same is true for you.

Sin with me. Shine with me. Brightly and beautifully. A million points of light.

+++++++

{Can you hear the inherent arrogance in there? Like somehow YOUR happiness is related to MY happiness?} This post isn’t about that…but ultimately it is. More to be explored. Be sure to sign up for posts so you don’t miss it.

 

 

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