I’m in a store last Friday, standing in the cashier’s line. The place is busy and people are chatting as they wait. I’m not paying much attention to the hum. Then I hear someone close by me say something.
The nail that sticks out gets hammered.
Ouch. I’ve heard this saying before. It’s a warning. Don’t be different, don’t stand out, the words say. Stay small and quiet, in the crowd of everyone else who is staying small and quiet.
Fear. Be afraid. Hide, or you will get hurt.
Someone else’s saying. Not mine. Not any more.
I say, Be Love. Let Myself Shine.
I want to know all of the unique, loving being that is me. I want to surprise myself with the beauty I can create. If I hide I will never know these things.
Every day I give myself permission to be love, to let myself shine. Some days I’m not so shiny. I wake up afraid that who I am and what I create is not good enough to share, not good enough to exist in any visible way. I want to hide, fearful that I will be that nail that gets hammered down.
I don’t hide. Instead, I get out of bed and go into my studio. I sit down at my work table, and look around at all I have created. I let myself see and feel what I have brought into my life and then shared with the world. I touch all the things I’m in the midst of creating. I feel how much I love this process. How love becomes joy in the linking of marks to become shape, in the forming of words and sentences to become thought visible on the page.
The fear I feel vanishes in the face of all this love.
I am learning to do this, bit by bit, day by day. I am learning to give myself permission to feel love rather than fear, even when the world is telling me be afraid, don’t stick out.
I give myself permission. I choose.
Be Love. Let Myself Shine.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends in the US! Your friendship is such a gift! xo