"Why do you always say you are invisible?", the older lady asked.
"I don't know. I just feel like I am.", she answered.
"But I don't understand why you would feel that way. The people around you are quite aware of you who are and the awesome potential hidden inside of you.", the older lady responded.
"I don't know how to explain it. I just do…", she said with a shrug.
For as long as she could remember, this young woman shied away from the light by making sure she didn't step on the toes of others, living within her means, staying away from promiscuous men, being courteous to strangers, respecting her elders, and living a quiet life. But...she always thought that she remained under the radar by living such a modest lifestyle.
You see...I have spent the majority of my life struggling to come out of my quiet place. My mind had me stuck in a place where I believed that I had to embrace that I am a child who must remain quiet and not speak unless spoken to. At an early age, I had learned to remain quiet through the pain, depression, and transitions. I developed a habit of choosing not to speak up and step out.
Due to my previous experiences, it took an extremely long time for me to discover that I was hiding. My mind allowed me to believe that I was invisible and that no one could see the things I intentionally tried to hide from the world. But…everyone around me could see and sense the gifts, talents, as well as the strong voice inside. I was like a child playing hide-and-seek. You know...the one who finds the best hiding place in the house and scares the mess out of you when you carelessly stumble upon them without a care in the world. Lol. Well...that was me. I have been hiding for so long that I didn’t realize that it was time for me to emerge from my hiding place. Fear paralyzed me and caused me to remain stuck. I didn't understand why I needed to emerge. Nor did I understand why.
Many of you may endure a similar time in your life when fear and doubt holds you back from coming out of your hiding. Entering this place in your live forces you to look at the bigger picture and finally realize you aren’t normal, but unique, one-of-a-kind, and innovative. You were given a purpose to fulfill and playing hide-and-seek will prevent you from reaching your overall goal. You can dream and plan out your vision, but until you choose to step out and not take this time you have for granted you will always allow fear to overpower you. You must choose to embrace the new you and act in ways to help you to never look back at the old you.
I encourage you to take the following steps to help you embrace the you that is hidden from the world.
Moving forward in life can be an overwhelming process, especially if you have to leave people, places, and things in the past. But...in order to move forward, you must let go. Letting go is such a freeing process. In your journey to discover your inner truths, you must let go of things holding you back from greatness. One of the important things to let go is your fears and doubts. If you must let go of people, learn to love them from afar. Some people in your life are only there for a season. Many of them will not be with you when you reach your final destination in life. It’s okay to separate yourself from them. Remember that the voice inside that is telling you to act will only tug at you more and more. Don't allow yourself to get in the way of future and cause your journey to come to a halt. Keep pressing forward.
Being Honest With Yourself
You know...this was one of the hardest things for me to do. I can never pinpoint the great things within, but I can reflect and pinpoint all of the negative characteristics within myself. Crazy, right?! I have realized that this is the time in life when you need to identify the good attributes about yourself. You need to know why you were created to become more. Embracing positivity will change the way you view yourself and will ultimately help you handle life a tad bit better. Being honest with yourself also means that you must dig up what's under the surface of your heart and pay attention to any underlying issues. These issues can cause chaos from behind the scenes if you don't acknowledge its presence and address them.
Learn More About Yourself
It takes many people a lifetime to discover who they are. You can't learn who you are by being surrounded by people or snuggling up to your loving boyfriend/husband. No offense to anyone. The best time to learn about yourself is when you are alone. Take yourself on dates. Pay attention to what excites you, what annoys you, what makes you mad, what you are passionate about, and what drives you forward. No one will ever complete you and make you whole if you are half of an individual.
In Between the Lines
This is the tough part in the journey. You must open the door to your mental space and insecurities to face them head on. You will encounter situations that will cause confusion on how you should act in the middle of it. And that is okay. This will cause you to be stretched. As you encounter this part of your life, you are entitled to ask questions and set boundaries with people as you learn more about what you are willing to tolerate. Your mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being are your first responsibility. Don't allow yourself to slide back into a difficult place.
Make the Decision to Change
As you learn more about yourself, you must make the decision to make some changes. You can't move forward to greatness still holding on to attributes about yourself that will continue to hinder you. This was extremely hard for me. I cried, y'all! I never realized what I needed to let go of. Here a few things, I am letting go of: fear of the unknown, timidity and muteness, and my comfort zone. The last thing was hard for me! I am an introvert (INFJ to be more specific). I love my bubble! And when people come in that bubble unannounced a new war will break out somewhere in China. Okay...I'm kidding! But it is uncomfortable. Once you let go of some things, you need to embrace new things about yourself. I am going to embrace: how to love myself, speaking up with boldness, relationships with others, and God's plan for my life. Embracing the new you won't be easy. Once, you make a decision, set your mind on it, then anything is possible. Remember to take it day by day. And one step at a time.