Shining Too Brightly
Beautiful bright light. People tell me I shine brightly. And yes, I feel bright and shiny…and sparkly too.
I am also a recovering overachiever. Achieving and producing and making shit happen has been my comfort zone. The brighter I shine the better. Until I realized that more, bigger, brighter, and busier, isn’t the life I wanted. I wanted meaning, connection, creativity and color. And I learned about soft light vs bright light.
I started 2016 with some seriously bright and shiny goals. Big, audacious and bold goals are on my horizon. There is a sense of excitement, urgency, possibility, and anticipation. I also trust the process, the universe, and all the magical, mystical ways that amazing things happen in my life when I trust. Yet sometimes when the light is really bright, I make ambitious to-do lists.
You know those? They fill up a whole page.
I made one of those lists a couple of days ago and it was long and the deadlines were unrealistic. After I finished the list I was quick to acknowledge that, no, I can’t really do all of that this week. But I didn’t change it because what if? What if I am that awesome and I pull an all nighter or wake up at 3am? I’m on fire. I’m so lit up and excited to make it happen.
Sunsets and sunrises are beautiful, right? Everyone loves a gorgeous sunset. But not when you look directly at the sun. When you look directly at the sun you are blinded by that bright ball.
It’s the light that reflects all around us as the sun sets that is spectacular.
The colors in the clouds and the way the sky turns pink.
The softness of the light that bathes the mountains before the sun peeks out…that is mesmerizing. It’s hard to look away. Once the sun rises I don’t dare look at it; it’s too bright. It hurts my eyes, so I turn away and try blinking out the blinding spot that is overpowering my line of sight.
I’m a bright light. And this week that brightness is harsh and blinding. It feels determined and focused and powerful. It is that kind of light. What I know now – what wisdom has offered me – is that
the real beauty is not in the brightness of the light but in the way the light plays all around us.
That is the light that I love. That is the light I want to be.
I am happiest when my light is soft and beautiful. I connect best with people when we can sit together in a prolonged pause and not be so rushed to get to the next agenda item to prove our efficiency and productivity.
It’s the soft light of a low fire, not the blazing, burning flames. A warm, comforting meal, not a searing dish. What is more enjoyable? Well, duh, the beautiful soft light. So why does my ambition lean towards the bright sun and leave me burned out and exhausted?
Too much striving. The familiar whisper that I am not enough. I’m not doing enough. I’m not making a big enough difference.
Yes, this week the light is blinding me with the urgency to strive and I realize how much I hate it.
I started the week on fire and inspired and then it shifted into the striving mode and I began to feel myself disconnected from spirit.
I experienced separateness.
I witnessed my ego slip in and it made me feel more productive, ambitious and better than others.
I felt the sting of severe self criticism.
I snapped at my kids after having these ridiculous expectations that they would be cooperative because, well, I have this ambitious to-do list and why aren’t they more organized and supportive of all the big goals in my life? (I’ll pause for your snorting laughter).
I slipped into the ball of bright light and it didn’t feel good. Thankfully I was able to check myself.
So I lean over into the soft light, loosen up, and trust that everything is okay and happening the way it is supposed to. I don’t have to rush through anything. I can be focused and on purpose with a softness, a pause, a wandering sort of amble. I can slow down a little bit and shake off the need to be so bright, ambitious and productive.
And I don’t need to figure out WHY I tick the way I tick. Not today at least. Today I can appreciate who I am, enough, just the way I am. I can allow the light to glow within, feel the love and warmth, and leave it at that.
Shine on my friends.
Sara…thank you, thank you, thank you! You so eloquently, and generously share your awareness, wisdom, humor and solutions to issues so many of us face every day! I feel so blessed to have met you on social media. We share so many of the same friends, and I hope some day, very soon, we can finally meet face to face! You inspire me, make me laugh, remind me to allow myself to reflect and redirect my energy on those days when I feel alone, confused, frustrsted, guilty and sometimes pissed off!! On those days when I feel like my bright shiny light will stop shining forever, and/or I must be an utter failure because I can’t achieve my long list of big audacious goals and never ending to do list…that I, too am only human! You remind me to stop for a moment, push the pause button , reset my unrealistic goals and accept that many times being a soft light is far more beautiful! I needed your wise words SO much today!! I felt (as I often do) you somehow crawled inside my crazy brain, read my mind, and revealed the shit show my life can become when I push myself too far and too fast!! I simply LOVE you and my life is better because serendipity came as long and connected me to you somehow!! You are truly a phenomenal woman!! THANK YOU for being YOU!! ♡
This all means so much to me. Thank you sweet Connie! I hope you have a day that is full of whatever kind of light works for you!