What's our obsession with being likable? Who does that serve? Newsflash: no one. Not them. And certainly not you.
I, for one, spent a good chunk of my life trying to dampen my fire. Prioritising other people’s comfort over my own. Dancing through life worried that I might step on toes. Shushing my intuition because it didn't make sense on a spreadsheet. Turning down the volume of my voice in an attempt at being more subtle or subdued. Dialing down my energy. Dampening my spark so I didn't catch fire too fast. Slowing my pace to stay with the pack. Living in the avoidance of hurting someone’s feelings. Second-guessing whether I was too harsh or too blunt or too crass.
But (about to tick all those boxes in one fell swoop)...fuck that shit. I was not made to be subtle. I was not made to play it cool. I was born to burn hot. I am not here to hide or to be quiet or to pursue "perfect" or dial down my light. I was made to shine. (And so were you.)
I mean well. I have a big heart. I try to do the right thing. I defer to the gospel of gratitude and the credo of kindness. I strive to cultivate patience and to move with grace. I meet others on the ground of mutual respect. I believe in amplifying the harmony, peace, love and compassion in this world. And I try to live those principles.
But I also believe in telling your truth even if it's unpopular or painful. I believe in speaking your mind, as loudly as is called for. I believe in honoring yourself by making yourself understood. I believe in having opinions and using them. I believe in betting that you're right and admitting when you’re wrong.
I believe in keeping pace with yourself, even if you're running alone. I believe in celebrating your gifts. I believe in highlighting the paradoxical parts of your personality, not hiding them. I believe in being true to yourself, even at the expense of being likable.
So I refuse to hide my fierceness. My strength. My capability. My courage. I refuse to dull down my shine. I’m not perfect but I am passionate. And opinionated. If we disagree we can still be friends. But we can’t be friends if I can’t be myself. So call me loud or call me colorful. Call me assertive or call me bossy. Call me clear or call me blunt. Call me outspoken or call me opinionated. You can call it like you see it. I just call me, ME.
And I want to be all of me. In fact, I insist upon it.
I invite you to join me. Come stand before the world, just as you are, without apology. In the full glory of your uniquely you, you-ness. Messy, magical, marvelous you. I love you like that. So get out here and shine, speak, shout, shimmer. Baby, you were born to shine that light of yours. Be all of you.