Michelle here bringing lots of love and light.....
"We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be".......May Sarton
Earlier in the week in a conversation with my youngest son, Jason, he brought up the subject of conviction; standing strong for your beliefs, regardless of popular opinion and being who you are. He said that he always admired a stand that I had taken several years ago. When he and Tiffany were in elementary school and Zakiya was in middle school, we held hands around the flag pole in front of the middle school and prayed. It was National Prayer Day and people all over the country were being asked to gather around flag poles and pray. We were the only four at the school. Jason said since it wasn't his school that he wasn't embarrassed but his sisters were. A few years ago, Zakiya told me that she hated me for making her participate but as she grew older, she realized the value of standing for one's convictions. There were no TV cameras or newspaper reporters; it was just us and Spirit. The following year on the front page of the newspaper, students were pictured around the flag pole at a different school praying.
In this lifetime I have typically been a pioneer. In the sixties when Afro hairstyles became popular, I was the first female (possibly person but I don't remember) to wear the style in high school. There were rumors that the Principal was going to expel me. Being me, I took the bull by the horns and asked him if that were true. He told me that while he didn't like the style he would not expel me as long as it was neat and clean. I also wore the first mini skirt to high school. One of the hall monitors, as I walked by her, said, "They're getting mighty short." I went to NY every summer and purchased school clothes along with the clothes my aunt sewed. At that time fashion hit NY first. There have been other times in my life when I either did or thought something before those around me; not every time or all of the time but enough times. I was becoming more "me".
Carl G. Jung said, "The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.". Sometimes it can seem to take a lifetime for this to occur. We go through many phases before we begin to "become ourselves". That transformation can feel frightening or strange, yet it is who we truly are inside. We begin to dress differently or try different hairstyles because we feel something happening but we don't always know what it is. It's akin to puberty in a sense. The difference, I guess, is that instead of growing up, we're growing in. And maybe that's also growing up as well. We accept who we have been beneath all of the layers we have buried ourselves under. We take off our masks and we begin to live authentically. "There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a person being themselves. Imagine going through your day being unapologetically you".....Steve Maraboli. Unapologetically you, unapologetically me, just being the awesome person that God/Goddess and All That Is created. AND WE ARE AWESOME!!!!
We also have to realize that we are enough. When I consciously began my journey of self acceptance, there was a song we used to sing in Science of Mind that I sort of made my motto. It's called "I Love Myself". It's about accepting ourselves as we are. This is the verse that was my motto: I love myself the way I am, and still I want to grow But change can only come outside when deep inside, I know I'm beautiful and capable of being the best me I can and I love myself just the way I AM, I love myself just the way I AM! I was singing that once and crying and Jason came in and kissed me. I still cry when I hear it. I've mentioned Sam Christensen before and his workshop that I took about myths and finding your lane. One of my "essences" was "just what I need to be and more when called upon". From that he deduced that my myth was measure (I'll explain at another time). On the way home from the workshop I thought about that and suddenly, I cried out. "I'm enough!". I cried from DC to Richmond because I AM Enough and so is everyone else. What a revelation for me to realize that! "Belonging starts with self acceptance...Believing that you're enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic"....Brene Brown.
Being authentic in a world that is constantly trying to make us someone else or like every one else can be daunting to say the least. I guess that's why we like, at least I like them, movies such as Divergent and The Hunger Games. They are about acceptance of our strengths and unique characteristics. There are some people, and I have been/am one of them, who feel as if we have never fit in anywhere. We struggle to find our place in the world. People want to belong, to be a part of and so that feeling of "not belonging" can have one feeling like an outsider. But as stated in the quote above, "belonging starts with self acceptance". We are who we are. I'm happy to live in a world with so many diverse personalities and cultures. If we could just learn to embrace our differences we would see that our differences make us the same. Why?, because we are all different and all unique; that's the same for everyone. We don't need to fit in, we just need to be who we are, always. Judy Garland said, "Always be a first rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of someone else.".
I taught my children something that day long ago when we stood around the flag pole and prayed even if they didn't recognize it at the time. Be true to yourself, stand up for what you believe in. I also learned that for myself as well, because although they never knew it, I was a little afraid also. But I wanted them to know that when we say we believe in something or that we are this type of person, we must be prepared to show it, even if it means persecution. I leave with these two quotes:
"No one man, for any considerable time, wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which is the true one.".....Nathaniel Hawthorne
"Be yourself. The world worships an original.".....Ingrid Bergman
Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again
Gypsi Mama Michelle