I want to talk about shining today. Brightly.

About you and I shining gloriously and being our best,

Most diamond like selves….

I’ve jumped ahead.

First we need to ask an important question-

Who told you not to?  Not to shine.

Who was it that taught you to be less?

The question really does have to be asked….

So many of us have hidden our sparkle,

Because we weren’t just right for someone else….

I’ll share some more of my own story-not enough to be too much, but enough to help bring understanding. I’ll keep it sweet-short and to the point.

I was a gifted kid. Not a better kid, just one who had lots of God given talent and ability that not everyone else had.  My parents were delighted.  I was expected to rise to great and unheard of excellence….shine and outshine everyone around me.
I had no idea how to do this….being a shy introvert and all.

I should mention here that I was utterly lacking in social skills.  Zero.  I had some of the quirky inner quirks that gifted people often have as well. I really didn’t know how to be Jan beyond the security of home.  I was not good with people…and the world was a scary, scary place.

Farming communities.  I grew up in a small farming community.  My dad was not a farmer. He was a dentist….In my school, it was a very good thing to be athletic.  All the stuff you do with a ball, be good at that, and you could have some friends.  Let’s just say I covered my face with my arms and ducked when the ball would come for me in gym class...even as a kid, I instinctively wanted to protect my artist’s hands.  I can honestly say I was the Queen of Klutz, and did not care at all who one or lost.  As you can imagine, I was the last person selected to be on teams….

I was bullied. Badly. Made fun of, teased and taunted. Physically hurt for no reason a couple times.  Sometimes I think other kids can spot the sensitive ones, and then they hone in for the kill…

I learned in school to make myself less.  I learned to dumb myself down, and apologize for who and what I was.  The only things that mattered to me then were making art and writing.  That’s where I invested my energy, and I did it because I had to, to hold on to a small glimmer of me-and although I liked the praise that sometimes came with what I created, that’s not what motivated me. 

School is where it all began…
Where the soul sucking question was first asked; ”who do you think you are?”  It began in school and has tried to follow and condemn me all my life.  I have learned, even as an adult, and the hard way, that other people don’t know what to do with someone who is good at too many things.  It was always about what I did, that threatened someone else’s sensibilities, and never so much about who I was.  A person just like anyone else.

Every time I would feel the pull to put myself out there, to create and let it be seen, that nagging question would always dog me “who do you think you are”.  I’ve tripped on those six little words and what goes with them way, way too many times…

The message was, don’t shine, because someone else might not like it. Don’t shine, because you will be rejected for simply being you…..you will be sometimes be cruelly put in your place to make someone else feel better about themselves.

So here I am, older, wiser and healthy-inside and out.  I’m out here to stay. No apologies.  Who do I think I am?  Just Jan.  Artist, writer, wife, momma and nana.  A human being just like anyone else.  A woman who is here to simply and genuinely shine, and hopes the light in me, will help someone else shine too.

My story is familiar.  Can you find yourself in it?   That’s why I tell it after all, to help you…..Who or what taught you not to shine, and to let yourself be small and diminished?  We are meant to live life out loud-where the colors are….You and I, we are meant to let the full weight, the full glory of our unique and special selves fall on this world.

Stop by tomorrow-more about stories and letting the full weight of our glory fall on the world….



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