What makes me different doesn’t always “light people up”. That’s because what makes me different is my willingness to explore the depths and darkness. Not exactly fun stuff!
This emerges especially in groups. I’m often the one in the group who’ll say what no one else will. The one who seeks meaning. The one who wants to talk about what others want to paper over or make pretty.
I was told by one of my coaching mentors that I have “a very keen bullshit meter”. I took that as a compliment.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have tried desperately to be a good girl most of my life. This truth-teller chick with a shovel often shows up out of the blue and I can’t shut her up before she’s gone ahead and told the truth. And, no, this does not “light people up”, at least not in a nicey-nice kind of way.
Believe me, even as I write this I am thinking: Oh great, people who don’t know me and read this are gonna think I’m a real bitch. I’m not, at least not all the time.
I actually know how to get along with people pretty well. My friends know me to be kind and generous and affirming. But I must admit, I’d probably feel more honestly me if I did not suppress what makes me different.
I’d probably be happier if I let the bitchy side of me out more often. The side that’s passionate and alive. The side that risks making others uncomfortable. The side that’s brazen and bold.
Instead of giving her a place in my life, she ends up creeping up at inopportune times. Maybe if I let that part of me that wants to authentically tell it like it is be fully integrated as part of me, she won’t spontaneously bust out as much.
I want to own this part of me that is different. I want to make it okay to not be nice all the time for the sake of keeping the peace. I want to be less invested in how people perceive that difference. Why? Because I know my difference makes a difference in this world.
We have enough of this “Everything is Light and Love” mantra floating around in the ethers… Sometimes we need to keep it real and be with our pain, our suffering, our separateness, our woundedness. There is no way around it on our path to wholeness.
I used to not know this about myself. I thought everyone else had this comfort with swimming in murky waters, or going down dark paths, or exploring caves. I thought it was understood that at the other end of that journey were important rewards and part of the reason we are here in the first place, right?
Part of what makes me beautifully different is my longing to embrace the light and the shadow. To roll up my sleeves and dig around for what’s real. To get dirty. To examine, investigate, explore that which is most difficult to embrace…
Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. –Karen Walrond