I’ve been running. Every time I think of just how hard and fast and desperately I’ve been running, I think of Kanye West in his Runaway video.
Running away is a theme. It’s a recurring nightmare. It’s my present. I run away from work. I run away from getting to know people. I run away from hard work. I run away from my past. I run.
What I’m mainly running away from is greatness. In the past, that statement would’ve bothered me. Who do I think I am to say I’m running away from greatness, as if greatness is waiting on me? Little ol me. But today, and some other days, I know the truth.
I think we all know the Marianne Williamson quote by now. But for reference’s sake, let me share it:
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.
I’ve read this quote over and over. I’ve recited the first few lines several times and have committed them to memory. Then, it comes in the mail today in the form of Snail Mail from Tyece.
I have been afraid of embracing myself, who I truly am, what I really have to offer, for a long time now. I used to own it. I used to wear it proudly, without being cocky, and I let it be me. Then at some point, I let that light dim lower and lower until it flickered out like a candle at the bottom of the wick.
My personality is one that is very dependent on others’ feelings and energy. Some call it being an empath. Others call it being highly sensitive. Whatever the case may be, I take other people’s energy and make it my own. Not on purpose; it just happens. So when I am around insecure people, guess what my body decides to take with it?
So in order to make these people feel comfortable, I have allowed myself to take a backseat. Now, here’s a disclaimer: I do not like the spotlight. I have no problem playing the supporting role. However, that’s not my destiny, and I have to admit that. I have to surrender to that.
So all this time, I’ve been hiding. I’ll peak my head out a bit, take a look around, do a little somethin somethin. Then, someone notices. They spread the word or announce it. And you know what I do? Freak the hell out.
It’s funny because I’m not shy. I was a cheerleader and regularly spoke in public growing up. I am outgoing and people seem to fall within my orbit. But it doesn’t make me comfortable. I am not used to people fawning over me, flocking to me, “praising” me. I don’t like all eyes on me.
But my gifts don’t call for that.
It’s become clear that I’m supposed to put myself out there to be noticed. I am supposed to speak up and speak out. I’m here to be noticed. I was put here to write my ass off. I was put here to learn complicated shit, and make it easy for other people to understand. I’m here to inspire, uplift, motivate, push, encourage people on their journey to greatness.
And the fact of the matter is, I can’t do any of that if I’m spending my time running away. I can’t succumb to my lack of energy, my health issues, my anxiety or my depression. I can’t allow my gifts to mold, atrophy, or rot. They have to be used. Regularly. And that will come with lights.
Part of the reason I stopped writing here is because I felt like it was getting too personal. It was getting too deep. It wasn’t like this person. I wasn’t doing what I thought I was “supposed” to do, how people were “supposed” to do it. And I also wasn’t being true to myself. So I ran.
I can’t say I want to be unapologetically me, and then run from it. I can’t say I want to be authentic and transparent, and then run from it. I can’t say I want to be a writer, a teacher, an entrepreneur, and then run from it. I have to be honest with myself and call my own bluff. I have to ask myself if I really want it, if I’m willing to sacrifice for it, and if I’m ready for all that comes with it.
Because on the other hand, running away has gotten me nothing. Nowhere. It hasn’t provided me a safe and comfortable space to live. It hasn’t given me a good night’s rest. It has depleted and exhausted me and left me feeling like something was missing. I was missing.
So if I’m going to run, I have to go in the opposite direction of where I’ve been going. I have to stop playing small, because that wasn’t my destiny. I have to shine through fear. I have to fight back the thoughts of imposter syndrome and inadequacy. I have to intentionally look for the things that other people see in me. i have to surrender to the light, and see where it takes me.
This post is a part of Twenties Unscripted’s Write Your Ass Off April writing challenge. In case you didn’t notice, the theme is SURRENDER.