I’m not a particularly quiet woman. “Seen but not heard” is not what anyone would use to describe me. Usually. However, in conversations with Dylan, I’ve realized that sometimes I water myself down for other people’s comfort. And not in a polite, ‘sorry I’m in a library so I’ll lower my voice’ way. In a way where I am ashamed of my me-ness.
Here’s an example: I love photography. I love everything about it. I love the nerdy parts of it and the artsy parts of it and the technological parts of it. I love capturing images and playing with Photoshop. I love looking at people through my lens and immortalizing that very moment of pure joy. I love it all. I went to college for it. I technically run a small business doing just that. Yet there are still people who go “oh I didn’t know you were into photography!”. Know why? Because out of fear and shame I watered myself down. I allowed men I’ve dated to shame me about taking lots of pictures with my phone. I’ve allowed my fear of not being good enough to keep me from utilizing my talents. Even now, I do this. I’ve asked people, my friends and boyfriend, to model for me and still haven’t followed through. Not because I don’t want to. But because I am afraid they will be overwhelmed with my ideas and with my love for the art and they’ll never talk to me again.
I water myself down. I’m afraid to be me. I’m afraid to embrace singing loudly and dancing wildly and babbling on about coffee and my dog and photography and the sunset. I’ve stifled myself from loving big. My guilty pleasure is just being myself.
Have you ever done this? If so, know you’re not alone. But also know that we are called to walk in the fullness of God’s grace! He made me to love big and be passionate about what I love. Maybe He made you to be a still, calm voice to those of us who sometimes get lost in our own whirlwind. Maybe you’re strong-willed where others are weak. Maybe you’re soft where others have become hard. Whatever you are, you are never too much if you’re walking in God’s goodness.
Let’s proceed with our lives with our head’s held high. No shame can be used against us when God is fighting for us! Take joy in being yourself, or in becoming yourself. Be your own guilty pleasure.