“Show up unapologetically for all the times you hid yourself before,” via the Birds Papaya. My childhood was a combination of hiding and showing who I am. Different traumas made it difficult to form relationships with people so I learned to hide who I really was in favor of showing them what they wanted me to be. I became a performer, so much so that I lost who I really was in the process. Accolades and praise and rewards for work done became the motivation rather than forming relationships with people. I excelled academically but I failed socially and I failed to recognize that I even needed a different kind of recognition; I needed acknowledgement of the real me, not the things I did for praise.
As a whole we’ve confused the two. We think praise for a job well done replaces praise for our existence. Moreso, we think we need praise for a job well done in order to be worthy in our existence. I know I did. I always thought I needed to perform well to be accepted and allowed at the table. I needed to prove my worth to have a say in anything. If I wasn’t good at something I didn’t even try and I certainly didn’t offer an opinion on the matter.
As time has gone on, I realize that one of my gifts is an objective viewpoint. As impatient as I am and as much as I like a black and white answer, I recognize that sometimes that answer is grey—and I’m really good at finding it. I have infinite patience to hear all sides of the story and piece the puzzle together. So while I may not know everything, I’m really good at finding the middle ground for people. I’m really good at helping others take the emotion out of it and looking at their next step. Keeping myself quiet in those situations is a disservice to others. It isn’t a matter of knowing it all, it’s a matter of being able to shift perspective. So that is how I can show up.
It doesn’t matter what I look like or if I’m not an expert, I’m still able to bring insight to the table. I’m able to look at a goal and break it down into pieces that are workable and able to shift as needed. This is how I can show up for myself and for others. I get to use my voice and I get to help people work out their fears. I get to boost them up while they look for the next step—how cool is that? I will show up for that every day.
For all the times I was too shy, I will show up. For all the times I felt I was too short to be taken seriously, I will show up. For all the times I felt too ugly or unwanted, I will show up. For all the times I kept quiet because I didn’t feel like my words had value, I will show up—and speak. There is value in everything we do even if it doesn’t give us exactly what we were expecting. There is nothing wrong with the lessons I have to learn—that doesn’t change my worth. Nor does it change anyone else’s. I will show up for those lessons as well, the lessons others are allowed to learn. Just being there is enough—and just being is enough. That is how we show up.