Thursday, March 2, 2017

Who You Were Created to Be

"No one is you and that is your power." - Dave Grohl

Since I was a kid, I’ve always looked for the line- the fine line between keeping everyone happy and not offending anyone. 20+ years later, I still haven’t found that line. We live in a world that's a whirlwind of emotions, events and unexpected actions, all created from a multitude of peoples' decisions. I don't know about you but through the years, I have struggled to "get in where I fit in." Often we line our integrity and character against other people's expectations of who we are. If we have a respected voice- we're expected to uphold a specific image, the rules all based on the opinion of others...and when I realized this? I discovered why I've struggled.

I've always been good at speaking for myself. I've never done well at falling in the lines drawn by someone else. I just wasn't made for puppet strings. On and off, I have (figuratively speaking), spent moments playing tug-of-war with others over the reigns of my life. Paired with my big voice, has always been a compassionate heart and submissive ears. I am sensitive to others. This all added to that aforementioned struggle. I fought the challenging questions of "how do I speak and live honestly but without offending anyone? Can I keep everyone happy?" The answer: it's impossible. Living in this world requires a balance of submission and what the world often calls "rebellion." We have to stand behind what we know is right and be willing to stand against that which is wrong. Having integrity requires courage, not being a "yes man" in any capacity.

My mother recently said it better than I ever could: "You have to be who you were created to be, not who you were raised to be."

    A mouth muzzled, is creativity stifled.

Creating media and starting conversations that build people- that's where I shine. Maybe your thing is writing books or music. Perhaps there's a business idea in your gut that you can't find the strength to produce. Maybe there's a decision you need to make but the uncertainty of the outcome has you paralyzed. How do we free ourselves from fear and discouragement, and take a chance on ourselves? We each face moments where we have to zone out the external and tune into the internal. This is your life. You don't live it more than once. It is vital that we are open to the wisdom of those meant to inspire our journeys; still, there's little time to be limited by the opinions and judgment of others.

 I was once given a personal request to "dim my light," and I shamefully confess I tried. I tried to become what was requested of me. I failed miserably at silencing my voice and taming the flame that burns within because as a good friend once told me, "Candles burn on top of tables, not under them. You were never made to be mediocre." I am who God made me and I will never again try to change that. No apologies, no explanations.

I never found that fine line between keeping everyone happy and offending no one; however, I did discover my balance: A courageous spirit, compassionate heart, focused mind and honest integrity. At the collaboration of those traits is from where I speak, and without concern of who will hate or love me. There’s a peace that comes with finding your voice but boy is it a process! Now that I've found the courage in saying what I need to say, my mission is to use my voice to help others.

We each have a purpose, and in order to have an impact or leave a legacy, we have to take ownership for our dreams, our actions, and our efforts. Who are you? What are your dreams and desires? What are you going to do with what you've got? How will you bless someone else's life? I hope you'll own your existence, value your time and simply be who you are- for that is where your true worth resides.


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