* This post is dedicated to Mandy and anyone who feels like they have to dim themselves to be loved.
I spoke with a friend just now, walking all over our neighborhood. For an hour plus.
I listened as she shared honest words about how she’s dimmed to keep peace in relationships. She’s dimmed in order to be loved.
Is that really love?
And I found myself having a stand-on-a-chair moment with her. And maybe for you, too.
Because it’s safe to say maybe you feel like you have to put your head down on the table, or curl up in a ball, or disappear under a rock for having real emotions, big dreams, or contrary thoughts.
Much of becoming our true selves is shedding who we used to be in hopes of living dim-free.
Permission to shine, dear friend.
Permission to be honest and allow God to advocate for you.
Permission to tread off the well-chiseled safe path and pioneer something new. Even if you don’t have light for the next step. Yet.
Permission to take up space, and stand confidently in grace, and walk into healing. Permission to surround yourself with people who long to know, you as you long to know them. Or at least desire connection. Awareness is often the first step.
Permission to believe, I don’t have to leave myself to be loved. Ever.
You, are made to shine.
Not because on your own you are glimmery or shimmery or perfect.
Quite the contrary.
You have permission to shine because as you walk wholeheartedly, whole soulfully into where you feel lighter and more at peace in your body, this will feel scary and crazy. Especially if no one else is walking with you. Or affirming your pivot. Or championing your truth-telling. This doesn’t mean your shining needs to be dimmed. Please, don’t squelch that light inside. Don’t hang your head in shame. Don’t look for the closest rock to climb under after sharing because others respond with raised eyebrows or blank stares.
The spiritual life is congruent; mind, body and spirit. And where Jesus stirs is crazy-making for sure.
We need brave sojourning souls who are willing to stand back and ask:
What feels off?
What seems right?
What am I feeling in my body?
Who am I listening to?
Who’s taking up mind and heart space?
What am I believing?
Where am I dimming to be accepted?
Where am I created to shine?
And then reclaim the joy that comes from moving forward toward the deep quiet knowing of truth and grace.
Always truth and grace.
Permission to shine. There’s room for a whole lot more shimmer in this dark world.