Things move fairly slowly in the South on the best of days, but as the muggy Mississippi heat crawls its way under your skin during the unbearable summer months, Southern life slows down even further – as if to compensate. As students leave campus to go on big summer adventures, staff members are left on ghost campuses with few immediate demands on our attention. (This is quite a contrast to having our lives seemingly revolve around student needs during the normal semester.) Despite the humidity, summer therefore brings a breath of long awaited fresh air.
With fewer appointments on my calendar I have had more time to devote to deep, meaningful conversations (DMC’s as I like to call them) with my colleagues, friends, and even the odd student. In the process, I’ve gotten to know several incredibly talented, smart and beautiful people – both inside and out. Sadly (and surprisingly) it seems that many of them have shared one thing in common: they are choosing not to show their true selves to the world.
A talented friend wants nothing more than to counsel troubled youth, but is too afraid to apply to graduate school because she doesn’t think that she could succeed. A warm, loving, tenderhearted friend finds herself in a terribly unhealthy relationship but is afraid to leave because she doesn’t think she could find love again. A brave new professional is having trouble being himself around new colleagues because he is trying so hard to impress and please everyone. A sweet girl has been burned so much by those she trusted that she refuses to let others in. Another colorful friend lives behind a gray mask to hide his homosexuality from the world and sometimes even himself.
Each one of these incredible individuals fail to acknowledge (or understand?) just how special they are in their own way. Overcome by fear of rejection and/or failure, they each lack the confidence to let their true colors show.
It absolutely breaks my heart. If you are feeling anything like the incredible people I described above- like you aren’t special or lovable, or like you can’t really show others who you really are - I want to encourage you in your beauty and purpose more than ever! So much so, my words seem small today.
You see, I have a deep desire to help others to not only liberate but also celebrate themselves. I’ve received feedback from many of you that Chasing Your Fire has inspired you in this process, and that motivates me to keep the posts coming. (Thank you!) Sometimes, however, my desire to be your cheerleader is so big that my words fail me. It feels like they just don’t have enough impact, they come out clumsy, or (yes, I am aware) even sound cheesy.
So today, instead of trying to find a way to make my small words into the message that you need to hear today, I am deferring to giants. I hope that their words will speak truth into your life as they have in mine and that they will encourage you to be the awesomely complex, breathtakingly beautiful being that you are – no holds barred.
(Before you start reading, hit “play” below for some highly fitting mood music. Make this your theme song!)
It is pretty evident that I am a quote junkie, isn’t it? I consider my “Inspirational Truths” board on Pinterest a treasure chest for days when I need a quick pick-me-up. It is incredible how someone I have never met can tell me exactly what I need to hear at the right time. I hope that this post has done the same for you and that you feel empowered to liberate your inner awesome.
Enough hiding; ignite your light and let it shine! Remember, there is only one of you in this world for a reason. Show them what you’ve got!
Happy flaunting, friends!
PS - Which of these quotes are your favorite? Do you have others that you’d like to share? Post a comment below.
Filed under: Self Development
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