I recently read a post written by Alicia Keys. In it she spoke on how she’d spent years hiding her true self from the world. She described in detail the reasons pieces of her being had been neatly tucked away – it was more a means of survival than anything else. The more I read her story, the more I realized it was also mine.
As a young child I had an innate musical ability and quickness at grasping things. I was often singled out by adults to sing at church or answer questions in school. My older sisters ensured I had a proper grasp on the English language by teaching me to pronounce my words correctly. In the long run, those and other attributes I’d been blessed with would leave me open to being bullied.
I began as Alicia to slowly hide bits of myself in order to draw attention away from me. I was told I thought I was cute because I could sing, and so I tried to get out of performing solos at school. It was said, I though I was better than others because I was bright. To counter this, I grew quiet when the teachers asked questions. I used more slang than proper English and even attempted to appear not as intelligent. What I did was minimize myself in order for others to feel good about themselves.
Through the years, I grew quite skilled at hiding. My appearance even suffered in all of the minimization. I love clothes and jewelry. I enjoy dressing up and going out but in order not to outshine, if you will, I hid that piece too.
Well, over the past few years, all that has changed. I’ve finally realized, it’s not my responsibility to ensure others feel good about themselves by minimizing who I am. As a child, I didn’t think I was cute, or better than others or proper. I was and am a naturally gifted and bright individual and for that, I no longer apologize.
I want all those in the world to feel good about who they are. Each one of us are extraordinary, and gifted with something special to offer. We must not allow those who are unhappy with themselves to demean us. Perhaps someone has attempted to degrade you in an effort to feel good about themselves. To you I say, no more! From this moment on, square your shoulders, hold your head up and declare to yourself, I will be all I’m called to be. And then, run with it!
I’ve added a link to the blog written by Alicia Keys. May it inspire you as it did me.
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