I WIll Quit Robbing You

RoseyThis is Rosey.  She is an artist and I asked her to refer to her paintings in this blog post where she responds to what she's quitting this year.   

I am lucky to have smart friends.  In an effort to capture some of their brainpower I asked a few of these smart friends to respond to a specific topic. And the below is what Rosey had to say. (You can read more about my intentions here.)  
I Will Quit Robbing You
By Rosey Lavine 

Sitting on the sidelines, wide-eyed, taking in each moment, and absorbing each hidden meaning in the situations around me… Shrinking until I almost disappear, I taught myself to sneeze quietly, walk softly, talk minimally, and of course, keep the boat as balanced as possible. No waves. In kindergarten I remember trying to hold my breath for as long as possible so that the sound of my breathing wouldn’t bother the girl sitting next to me. I did not feel safe to be me in my own skin, and to this day, it is still something I struggle with. The swell of life around me feels too big for me to fit into. Years later, I breathe better, but my mind is darting through every possible doubt in what could be, like exposing my true self, whether good or bad, would step on someone’s toes.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be?" - Nelson Mandela

Ironically, I spent a good portion of my youth on a stage. I even held the lead role in the local ballet a number of times. The stage was an escape to be someone else for a while. People loved Clara. I found value in their love for her, and I was great at playing the part. But there were a few people who saw something behind the role - the real me behind the layers. In their utter frustration I heard the words, “Why are you holding back!?” more times throughout my life than I can count. These people are dear to me in my attempt to dig me out of the layers I’ve hidden behind.

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. – Anais Nin

I find sometimes that I’m still playing a role in a play. It’s become easier to be what others expect me to be - a sort of scripted, quiet, unburdened, unobtrusive role - sweet, and helpful. Somehow there’s comfort in playing a role - Terrible, hospital bed like comfort. Not the kind of comfort to settle into, lest you become paralyzed. In the role, I’ve gone through motions that sometimes look like me. Sometimes they even are me, but I’ve also lost myself in a bit of fear that I might expose too much. And that vulnerability is difficult to overcome.

But oh, how I’m attracted to the people that aren’t afraid of being the odd ball, rocking the boat, and standing up for what they believe in. I’m attracted to the vulnerable. People who are kind when it’s not normal, and who get angry at the right time in a stand against injustice. People who don’t care what others think. How can I love that person, and be afraid of being that person at the same time? How I desire such freedom.

I’ve heard that firefly lights are the most efficient lights in the world – 100% of the energy is emitted as light, compared to  an incandescent bulb which only emits 10% of its energy as light, and the rest as heat. I’d like to be a firefly – bright and free in flight rather than a light bulb under a bowl.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Jesus

When did I become so afraid to shine?

It’s time to do some pruning, and some quitting, and some life disrupting, daily, good change.

One of the best words of advice I’ve ever received was to,

“Quit robbing others of the gift of you.”

It’s a daily struggle as I overcome my insecurities and embrace the lovely me.

But today, I dare myself.

Today, I will quit holding me back. Today, I will quit robbing you.


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