We All Need Reminders: Be You
“There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.” (Self Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson)
A friend shared this quote on her blog last week. It came in a timely fashion, as most things seem to when you are looking for them. I was in the midst of thinking I needed to find someone to spur me on, encourage me, support me, show me which direction to go. But I knew the truth, I simply needed to be reminded.
The truth is that while we are all so very similar, and there are threads of familiarity that connect us all in a wide variety of ways, no one is exactly like any of us. No one can write like Anne, with her gentle voice and lovely pictures. No one can write like Nicole, with her stories that carry you along. No one can write like Anne who puts it out there just like she sees it. Three different authors who are tied by words and share some beliefs but are so very different in the carrying it out in their lives. Each one beautiful and unique, each one familiar and shared.
I have known so many women in my life. Some friends, some acquaintances, some who never knew me, but all so talented each in their own way. Some I have known write. Poems, blogs, books, devotionals. Some I know work with yarn. Teaching, creating, writing. Some I knew kept journals, whether with words, art, pencil, or pictures. Some take pictures of people, cars, birds, and rainbows. Two different women in my life have gone back to school recently, but with totally different directions. They have all shared things and yet they were all unique. Beautiful women each bringing something different to my life, and yet shared something with so many as well.
There was a time that I thought I needed to be exactly like these women in my life and those whose paths crossed mine. There was a time where I didn't understand that I could be uniquely me and share likes, dislikes, beliefs, ideas with others. Or it seemed that one choice had to be better than the other so it was a competition. It seemed like a complex idea to be the same and different and equal that I simply couldn't grasp, but which I have slowly learned over the many years. You would think I would have gotten it by now, I know, but I am glad to say my fingers are nearly fully around the idea.
I love the fact that I can share the same soil with so many, but the seed I plant will grow into it's own beauty and strength and offerings. Don't try to make what you have be just like what others have. Don't compare your offerings to others. Enjoy the similarities but thrill in the differences. We don't know what we can truly offer until we do.