Umi Says Shine Your Light on The World**

by P. Braithwaite

Lately, in all of the chaos and mind chatter, I’ve begun to doubt my own writing. I’ve been thinking lately about the world outside of my own head.

At the core of it all, I write about relationships. I write about make ups and break ups. I write about commitments and betrayals. I write about MEN, MYSELF, AND GOD. I use my experiences as an example for anyone who might be reading. I think I do good things and all that, but the truth is this blog is a meditation on first world problems. I sometimes wonder if I’m helping people who aren’t obsessed with romance and love.

Here’s a confession: I have lots of writer friends, and sometimes I get jealous. The other day I logged onto Facebook and perused my time line. One of my FB friends had written a really beautiful and personal status update, and I was so moved that I was jealous. I was suddenly afraid that my experiences didn’t have the same weight. I was jealous that, somehow, his experience diminished my own. The depth of my friend’s prose, somehow made me question the depth of my own. Over the past few weeks, I have doubted my ability to connect to others from a deep place. I’ve wondered if I’ve experienced enough important stuff in this life to be truly of service. I began judging myself as self-indulgent and superficial. I began to believe that my experiences were invalid because they happen to be rather free of real tragedy or severe hardship.

I should be writing about politics or health-care or the sociology of religion. I’m using my voice to discuss things that don’t even really matter.

Self-loathing is a helluvah drug.

And then, the other day in meditation, I realized that what God puts inside of you is meant to be shared. Whether an idea, a passion, a craft or a vision, the light inside of you is meant to be shared with the world.

They’re not for you to hoard and ponder, you are meant to be expressed.

In truth, your gifts aren’t even ABOUT YOU. They exist as offering and contribution to the collective growth of the entire universe. Shining and sharing your light sets the world ablaze. Your unique gifts and vision inspire others to share their own.

You and I are both having the journey we’re meant to have. It’s as valid as anyone else’s.

I feel like this needs repeating: It doesn’t matter what it is; it doesn’t matter how ugly or weird or mundane you think your spark may be. The seed inside of you (the one that you think isn’t good enough) is meant to be cultivated and shared. Don’t worry about how people will receive it or what it ultimately means, just follow the impulse to share what’s in your heart. To hide from or judge your own gifts is to hide from and judge the intelligence of God.

I’m not Christian, but that sounds like a sin to me.

So, today, I breathe a sigh of relief. My journey is not mine to judge – I am only here to be used as God sees fit. The lessons I’m confronting and sharing are a direct reflection of a curriculum designed by Spirit. If God saw fit for me to have different experiences, He would’ve provided them. I’m truly and overwhelmingly thankful for my life. And so I humbly offer what I feel called to share without judgement or criticism.

When I share myself authentically, I believe I’m living the life God intended for me.

God-willing, that is enough.

How are you judging your journey?

** Umi Says by Mos Def. Listen to the lyrics.