On Being Great (#31writenow, #nablopomo)

by P. Braithwaite

I sat crying into an enormous plate of chicken wings. Succulent wings glazed with a honey BBQ sauce were being ruined (seasoned?) by my tears.

“There’s no crying on Wing Tuesday!” BFF-Bri warned.

Once again, I’d found myself questioning my own worth. I found myself scrutinizing my own ability to love and be loved. At the core, beyond the sarcasm and hyper-analysis, I am simply a person who craves to love and be loved. I’m happiest when people I love experience my love the way I intend. I’m learning to relax into letting people love me.

On this particular night, someone had told me I wasn’t doing it right. I wasn’t good or effective at loving. So I cried. I cried because I was afraid maybe he was right.

BFF-Bri, the sole attendee at my chicken-filled pity party, gave me the look she gives when she’s about to cut through my bullshit. She put down her chicken wing and gave me the best advice I’ve ever received. It applies to all situations and circumstances:

You have to stop believing other people’s truths over your own. You need to believe your truths about yourself because… if you continue to let other people come into your life and tell you the truth about who you are…you aren’t ready to be great.

Her gaze was firm; her jaw was clenched. She relaxed her face only to take a very purposeful sip of her strawberry mojito. She never broke eye contact.

I could do nothing but nod.

It is so hard to stand affirmed in the truth of your own beauty. Early in life, we discover the light inside of us, but many of us are afraid no one can see it. We think we might be crazy. We look for circumstances and people who can recognize our light for us, but often that doesn’t work out. Two people doubting their own light can’t really affirm one other. More often, they go about doing the opposite.

But I assure you, I see your light. it’s there.

What’s more, when you give something your ‘all’ and it doesn’t work, its easy to believe your light is defective. It’s tempting to think your best is subpar or that there is something fundamentally wrong with you. There are so many messages to feed those illusions; there are so many reasons to doubt yourself, but in ordered to claim ALL of the goodness waiting for you (in order to even recognize it as such) you must know: your core is light. Your nature is goodness, and your experiences of your own goodness are valid. Those moments where you know you did your best — when you experienced yourself at your best — are real. The outcome is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter if no one sees it. You didn’t imagine your own grace. The truths of those moments are your’s to keep forever.

No one can take them from you.

So today, walk away knowing this: who you are is enough. You are enough, my dear friend. You are a source of love and light. You are already complete, and the greatness on its way is already inside of you. Look within and claim it. Cultivate those seeds. Hold on to that truth when it’s challenged. Greatness is both your birthright and inheritance.

And it’s about to show up in a major way…