By: Lori Walker
(3 min read)
The other day, I caught myself doing it. Again! The music was blasting, and I was singing into a hairbrush like Tom Cruise in the movie, Risky Business. Haha! But the song wasn’t Old Time Rock n Roll by Bob Seger. It was Express Yourself by Madonna.
Why is it that I have unstoppable confidence when I pretend to be someone else? Yet I lack the courage to be myself in a group, at a party, or even on Facebook? I already know the answer. It’s the fear of rejection.
I learned at a very early age. Do this. Don’t do that. Think this way, like I do. Fit it. Don’t rock the boat. Don’t ask too many questions. And, under no circumstances, will you EVER put yourself out there to be ridiculed or judged. The pain is not worth the risk. So, I hid my true self from ever being seen.
I have lived like this for far too many years. My shame took on many forms. Low self-esteem, weight issues, addictions and denial. I would do anything to numb my feelings. And then it happened. My recent, Come-to-Jesus moment. When I finally asked myself, “Do I really want to live in someone else’s version of me?”
I am an observer. I didn’t intend for that to happen. Being the youngest of five children, I am literally and figuratively smaller than everyone else. I was so used to being blown off, not taken seriously and underestimated. I accepted the labels “Too Emotional,” “Too Sensitive,” and my absolute favorite, “You Think Too Much!”
Well, hell, wtf am I supposed to do with that? I just wanted answers to my burning questions. Who am I and how do I fit into this world? My quest for knowledge became insatiable. It still is.
I’m tempted to go into a Debbie-Downer kind of spiral right now, but who wants to hear that? Boring!
I’ve already confessed that I’m a workaholic, a deeply sensitive empath, and a girl who wants to make people laugh! Welcome to my world! Those who know me personally, get me. I’m not a fair-weather friend. I will support and uplift each one you in an effortless heartbeat. That’s how I roll…
I never expected to be here, sharing my innermost thoughts with anyone willing to listen. But, what if?
What if I didn’t accidentally fall into this opportunity? What if my entire life has been divinely programmed for this exact moment? What if all the things I supposedly failed at were lessons that prepared me to step into my voice?
My mother always believed that I could write. Over the years, she has asked me to write the prayer for my nephew’s wedding and a funny story for a Left-Right game at my niece’s bridal shower. But my crowning achievement is when she asked me to re-write The Twelve Days Of Christmas to include each member of the family. ‘Twas the Day after Christmas was such a hit. I ended up writing ‘Twas the Day Before Christmas and Todd, The Christmas Elf, for the next two consecutive years. My family was laughing so hard, we were all in tears.
I never thought my writing was good enough to show the world. Until a ‘certain someone’ waved her magic wand and said, “Your words have the potential to help someone heal.”
When I question myself about my motives, or where my heart is coming from, I immediately recall my favorite quote. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
We are all different. We all see the world through our own eyes. What interests you may put someone else to sleep in 30 seconds. You can’t please everyone, so you might as well make the best of your most precious resource, time.
What are you passionate about? What fills your heart with uncontrollable joy? How do you Express Yourself? Once you find the key, listen to your heart. It’s the only compass you need.
I’ve gotta run for now. Tom Cruise, Madonna and Alexa are waiting for me to sing my line “Don’t go for second best, baby!” It’s going to be a great day!