I had this idea floating in my mind for awhile to start a column on here dedicated towards sipping coffee and digging into some real issue. Carving out conversations around current events, concepts that are relevant to women, and what is happening in my life that you could possibly relate to. Talks that inspire change, happiness, moments of clarity, and a community of women. Would this be something you would like to read on a weekly basis? It could be Sundays or Wednesday that these posts air, let me know in the comments what days you have more free time to sit and dive deep into these kind of topics.
Dimming Your Light For Others
Here’s a concept that’s been swirling around in my head for the last 24 hours… How often do we dim our light, our brightness, our greatness, our talents, our beauty, our passions, our desires, our true essences just to make someone (or everyone) around us feel more comfortable?
I for one have done this more than I like to admit. I also continue to hide away without even realizing it. The concept of, “Oh don’t be too good, too pretty, too sexy, too smart, too abrasive, too showy… People won’t like that” was entirely ingrained into every single cell of my body since I was a child. I had to cover everything up, how much money my family made, my body, my beauty, my intelligence. I remember going to school and never raising my hand even though I knew the answer and would say it under my breath. Ugh, it hurts to even write that last statement, because how crippling is that to teach our young girls (and boys) to stifle yourself so others don’t feel threatened?
Why Do We Do This?
I know it came from a place of protection when my parents taught me modesty. It’s was a cultural thing to be docile, pretty but not too pretty, and quiet. Don’t rock the boat was the main message. It’s also an adaptation of the common concept that other people’s opinions are incredibly important in life (which is so bogus).
I understand that to my parents, staying small meant I would stay out of trouble, prevent ridicule, and wouldn’t cause a stir among others. I remember growing up, it was my mom’s mission to groom me to find a suitable husband, which equated to, don’t shine brighter than men.
I would say at the age of 11, I rather have my own career than to get married. I was a ball buster from a very young age, so imagine trying to suppress that fire and drive for so many years. To maintain that sweet image that will make others feel way more comfortable and better about themselves.
Currently Brighter Than Before
I am going to be honest, there are still times where I catch myself dumbing myself down, making my appearance meek, not going for what I really want because I have been trained to do the opposite of what feels so natural to me.
I think it takes time to turn that brightness back on, or up, or freaking blare it. It’s patterns that have been built upon for decades, in my case. But blare it we should. I am a strong believer that making others uncomfortable will actually challenge them to level up. How awesome of a world would we live in, if we all pushed ourselves to the absolute max.
I read recently another author’s same sentiment of not pursuing or showcasing who you truly are (aka not shining as bright as possible), and she mentioned, “What if your favorite band never tapped into their true talents? What if inventors never spent the money to create the devices we use daily?” That hit hard. What happens if we all stay small? The world as a whole is affected. Our talents, intelligence, gifts, beauty, whatever we have inside has the potential to change the world for the greater good. It’s almost a crime to keep dim or diminish it.
What are your experiences?
I know for a fact that I am not the only one who has gone through this. I want to hear about your experiences of dimming your light to either fit in or make others feel better. Have you ever covered up your beauty, intelligence, or success? How did it make you feel? Why do you think you felt the need to dim your light? And how have you bounced back and started shining super bright again? Let me know in the comments!