When I was child, I was what many adults called intelligent for my age. I was interested, inquisitive, hiiiighly opinionated, I was interesting, born leader. You should know that I am cringing as I type, you’ll soon understand why. You see, I was born into a family of leaders and so non of us were expected to be less and without trying, I was definitely one of my people. I never asked for permission to be great, even in areas I wasn’t great in I appeared to be great. Although I may have been a little overbearing, I wasn’t arrogant about it, it was normal to me so I didn’t think I was in any way better than anyone of extraordinary.
In grade one, I saw my beautiful head girl at school and decided that in six years, I would be her. Five years later, I was one of the first grade sixes to be made prefect, that same year in my leadership interview I said with no doubt and fear that I would bring back the Christian fellowship group at school if I was elected. Later that year, I was elected my school’s first Chairperson, I was both head girl and head boy and I took my job very seriously. This was around the time I realized that who I was was offensive to people, my family explained it to me. So because I liked being liked, I had rejection issues so I needed to be liked. So when I went to high school I decided to keep a low profile, I decided that I was done being in the spotlight, I was going to make people comfortable around me, I wasn’t going to give anyone reason to dislike me. That didn’t work out as I hoped because my silence was interpreted as good behavior and I was elected the Class Representative every year of my high school career. Started the school choir with some friends in my second year. Again, part of the first group of grade 11s elected as prefects and was elected Deputy Head girl the next year. First year of varsity, same story.
As much as who I was kept coming through, the light was diminishing slowly each year I tried to shove it under the table and eventually, it died. I killed it. This was the new pattern of my life. Unseen, unheard, no impact and I knew I finally got what I wanted. But now it was working against me, when it mattered most. I remembered this as I was looking at the cracks on my cellphone screen. So I’m a little (a lot) clumsy and as a result, my previous phone needed screen protector replacements at least every month. But you see my current phone was a gift from a very special person to me so I take really good care of it. If I drop it, I immediately check for cracks and to my surprise, I haven’t caused any damage. So because of this people pleasing thing and not wanting to seem a certain way, I calmly hand it over for other people to use for pictures and whatever else. Recently, one of my friends pointed a crack out to me. My heart sank. Not really because there was a crack on the screen protector, but because the culprit didn’t have the decency to tell me. In following weeks I noticed more cracks with no explanation. Remember, I check it everytime I drop it. Do I still hand it over with no observation?…
My point is, you lose so much in the name of making others comfortable at the expense of what is precious to you. You are the one that is left way beyond uncomfortable after the fact. I handed over an expensive item, both in monetary and sentimental value in the name of not wanting to seem a certain type of way; it started with me handing over my very special gift, I dumbed down, diminished my light to make others comfortable. Don’t do that. That isn’t humility, it is actually another form of pride, making yourself that which you are not. It is disrespectful to yourself, God- the Giver of the gift, the people who should have benefitted from your gift, the people that should have learned something from your “No.” or reproach.
Respect your gift. Respect the givers of your gift. Respect yourself.