Don’t Ever Let Anyone Dim Your Glow

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Glow.
We all have it.
Some of us don’t think we do.
Some of us are afraid to let that glow out, afraid of how we will be perceived.

 Print

{Download 8×10 printable here, thanks to Lindsay for creating what was in my head}

What exactly is your glow, you ask?

I define it as being happy, different, letting your light shine, having a unique quality…enough that it affects others in a positive way.  It’s not always easy to share our own individual glow because we may be inhibited for some reason or another.

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MY LATEST VIDEOS

A few years ago when I was in my “headband” stage, a friend told me she wished she could wear cute headbands, but she didn’t think she could “get away” with it. She felt they looked dumb on her. I told her that if she wants to wear a headband, then she should wear a headband–who cares??

Is it that we think people will laugh to themselves at our boldness? Talk behind our backs at how silly we might look?  I’ll admit, I’ve thought it before:

Am I too old to wear a fancy headband?
Are my hot pink jeans too bright?
Do I show too many pictures of myself on my blog?
Is it silly that I do a WIWW post and share my fashion style?
Are my leopard print sunglasses too bold?
Who am I to take such risks?
I don’t want to stand out in the WRONG way.

But I like it, I am me, so I do it.

In a world where everyone wants to be like everyone else,
I teach my kids to find their own voice.To be different.Unique.
But different isn’t always accepted.

home decor

{printable available for download HERE, created by Kiki at my request}

I define glow like unto JOY in life. We share that joy in how we live. Glowing should be contagious.
Often, our insecurities inhibit our glow from shining.
We constrain ourselves…just because we worry too much about what other people may think.

Why can’t we see someone else’s glow and not feel bad about ourselves?
Why can’t we recognize our other talents and find ways to glow there?

I consider myself an extrovert. But there have been times in my life that
I’ve felt very insecure and unsure of myself.

Unsure of what exactly I have to offer others in conversation
in a room full of people.
Concerned why I’ve been treated with indifference
by others I’ve been nothing but kind to.

Most people look at their high school days and remember their awkward insecurities in finding themselves. Some were treated poorly, and just had to endure the cruelties. I was blessed in high school to have not experienced that. I had great friends, and to my knowledge didn’t experience meanness. Those experiences helped me feel secure in who I was.

My insecurities didn’t hit me until the year I got married.
Graduated college.
Moved across the country.
Had my first baby.

I felt the joy in my marriage and in motherhood,
it was figuring out how to be the new me
with my interaction with others that I struggled. I became more quiet.
Observed conversations.
Spoke only when I was spoken to.

Up until that point, I always had someone–a friend–to bounce ideas off of, hang out with, and just shoot the breeze. I only hoped to find a friend in my new area, someone who would take me under their wing . . . and tell me everything was going to be o.k. I didn’t realize how much I had relied on friends for my happiness.

That first Sunday, we went to church with so many friendly faces saying hello. But the recollection that is forever etched in my mind is the sweet girl that invited us over for dinner that very day. When we got to her home, she excused the mess because their kitchen was literally under construction. They had no counter tops, and she wasn’t even quite sure what she was going to feed us.

always be kinder than necesssary

{Pinned from Minted.}

She had a really good excuse not to have the new family over, but her glow will always shine with me.
She reached out to the new girl.
She knew that moving was hard.
She wanted to be that welcoming face.

In the two years that we lived there, I knew I could talk to her. She taught me how
to spray paint a chandelier.
She showed me it’s ok to let the toddlers watch cartoons for a bit
so I could get a break. She let me hang out on her couch while the kids played
because I couldn’t stand to be alone in my ghetto apartment anymore.

back in the day

{This is the only picture of have of my friend and I. I was too awkward to ask my friends to take pictures with me because I thought they’d think it was silly. I’m on the left in case you can’t tell. My oldest and her second are a week apart. I blurred the middle baby that isn’t ours}

I haven’t spoken to her in 10 years, but she will always be an angel in my life.
I think of her often.
I’ve tried to emulate her, by inviting over new families to dinner, to help them get acclimated to their new normal.
To be their own person. Bring out their own glow.

I teach my kids to reach out to others, to look for someone who might need a friend. I council the teenage girls at church to ignore the nay sayers at school and realize their Individual Worth. Life is hard, and sometimes all it takes is to know someone cares, to be that glow.

Though I don’t broadcast to anyone that I like to invite new families over, word has gotten out. I don’t regularly have my good friends over for dinner, but 1-2 times a month, we will have a new family or someone we don’t know well over. I can’t get to everyone new, and that’s something I feel bad about.

I’ve sadly realized that I also need to teach my children that some people are threatened by the glow.  It seems that those insecure with themselves, seek to bring others down with unkind words. Without going into too much detail about events that have unfolded to me in the past week, I’ve heard recently that I’ve been mocked by some for reaching out to new people, and that makes me sad. It’s made me really sad….lots of tears, sad.

 Print

{One of my very favorite quotes, now a printable for YOU!  Made per my request by Lindsay, available for download here. White background with just blue font here}

At first, hearing this made me look at how I do things and want to hide in a corner (and eat an entire batch of cookie dough). How can I keep reaching out when I know I’m being mocked for it?

Since mulling this over,
I’ve concluded that I’ll keep on doing what I’m doing.
Be me, and all that that entails.
Glow.
I am happy with myself and how I live my life.
I’m not perfect, I make mistakes, but I work hard at having a pure heart.

Let’s all look inside ourselves, and find something we love to do and glow.
Don’t worry if someone else does something better than you,
we need to help each other out, learn from each other.
be positive.
be kind.

Don’t compare your weakness to someone else’s best.
And vice versa.

I have a good slew of wonderful, amazing, honest, and kind friends in my life. I am blessed with goodness all around me.
I can’t let this bring me down.

I’ll continue to work on my posture and pull
my shoulders back…hold my head up high
(but not too high, that’s snobby), and keep working on my GLOW
in hopes that my glow will rub off on others, and encourage them to glow, too.

As a photographer, I love how this quote is so fabulously related to life: Life is like a photograph, we develop from the negatives. I can learn something from this experience, and move forward stronger.

Life is like a photograph, we develop form the negatives

{Printable created per my request by the wonderful Lindsay. Available for download here.}

I write all of this for 3 reasons.

One, I think we can all try a little harder to be a little kinder. I’ve got room to grow myself.

Two, My life isn’t perfect. Just because I often share shiny happy things on my blog, doesn’t mean it’s always that way in my life. Just because people smile, doesn’t mean there isn’t something hiding behind the smile. Everyone has a story that will bring you to tears.

Three, We need to live our lives with joy and keep on glowing, no matter what others may think. No matter how intimidated you may be, Don’t you ever.ever. ever let anyone dim YOUR glow.

Join me in the Invite a Family Over for Dinner Challenge!