In this world of blogging, despite everyone’s best efforts, it’s all too easy to start looking around at the pretty and start thinking, “Am I doing it wrong? Am I good enough?”
I think that sometimes, even though I know it isn’t really about that. I know that to be myself is the only way to be, that my light will shine and I will find my audience and myself, both. But, like so many of us all, I am a little bit broken. So I forget.
On days like that, it helps a whole heck of a lot to have someone to remind you, especially when they do so very beautifully.
Today, to do just that, please welcome my friend Sheila, from Growing Wild Farm. I hope you love her as much as I do.
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What is your superpower?
Or superpowers? What are those things that make your heart sing the loudest, the things you can do again and again with a smile somewhere on your body even if the work of them is sometimes hard, and your face isn’t always smiling?
We all have a few.
Me? I am pretty great at loving up babies the right way (for me); and I can do a small bit of magic with words. And–occasionally to the dismay of my free-wheeling husband–Aristotle was definitely singing my song when he said that the unexamined life was not worth living, because I can really examine the h*ll out of it, in good fun, and sometimes even come up with a few “answers”.
But there are also many things I am only so-so at. I am only part-domestic goddess, even though that is my full-time gig. I am a decent cook, but not an extraordinary one.
I hate my sewing machine in all kinds of honesty and most crafty things happen only under the direction of strictly utilitarian ulterior motives. My home is a space I want to be comfortable for, and useful for, and reflective of, the many souls that reside in it, but there are a lot of things I would rather do than a decorating or home improvement project.
And with all honesty, there are things I just plain make a mess of. I really can not make small talk. I can barely make conversation. I am perpetually late, and I can not sing in tune to save my life–although that is one of the things I hope to change someday.
But forget sports. And all kinds of other things that I can’t even think of, they are so far removed from my life. And that’s okay.
We are, each and every one of us, our own unique version of godliness.
There is no one way to be, one great version of living. But every version can be great, if it is lived true. Perfecting everything you could in this life is impossible, but being perfectly you is not.
And yet we spend so much of our time comparing ourselves to others. We are quick to imagine that another person’s story is better than ours. Or we fall in love with the great things about everyone else, and we imagine that greatness coming from the things about them, not the them that is great at those things.
We don’t easily look to ourselves for answers, to find greatness. This is a gift, a truth, so many of us slowly lose as we grow up in this world.
Still, there is no doubt that we can learn from one another and be inspired by one another. The wisdom and heart of others and its outpourings into the world are a blessing to us all. Amen to that! I find inspiration all around me, but the goal is to try to keep my self disentangled from another’s self.
And it is tricky. More than ever. With access to the entire world’s stories via the Internet, stories often told from the heart of another–their bright sides only–we sometimes forget that everyone has their own shadows to deal with too.
Under our own shadows, how easy it can be to mistake wanting to learn from someone, or feeling inspired by them, with a hope to cast out those shadows we hate by trying to be something we are not.
But you, and only you, can write your story.
It will look something like the rest of the human population’s, but it will be–and should be–vastly different too. The only way to write it is to listen first to your own heart beating.
Then, you can share and dream and love with the whole world around you, as long as you don’t ever let it cloud your vision. The world wants to hear the song of you, sung directly from your heart, with no armor around it and no fear blocking its voice.
And they definitely don’t want the voice of another in its place.
So don’t worry about the things that don’t truly resonate with you, they are simply not meant for you, no matter how great they fit someone else.
And don’t worry about what the rest of the world will think about the story you came here to tell, part of their job in this life is to see it and hear it and let it be. If they have forgotten that, simply keep reminding them, gently.
The authentic life is the only one worth living.
It is the only one that will make you strong enough to carry through. It is the only one that will make you strong enough to carry others through. It is the only one that will make you deeply and unshakably happy.
And with that happiness, you will save the world.
There is a place inside of you unreachable by anyone, and that is a good thing. That is you, crystal clear and perfect. Let it shine for all to see.
You are–we all are–superheroes.
Sheila Jaillet is mostly a heart on a sleeve, loving up this life and the world around her with a whole brood of small people she adores and a great husband on a little piece of paradise that they farm in the Pacific Northwest in a small–but big–way as their act of bettering the world. But beyond the peachy-keen, she is a quiet thinker, keen observer, and eternal optimist whose thoughts need a place to go and usually end up written since the quiet part is, in her late thirties, sticking. She loves babies, dirt under her fingernails and on the knees of her jeans, heirloom seeds, moving water, reading as if the world around her has stopped, songs with a little croon to them, and words well written. You can read all of her wild ramblings at her blog, Growing Wild Farm, or the rest of her articles at Rebelle Society.
This story first appeared at Rebelle Society, and is reprinted here with permission.