Living my Life in Full Color

I’m a Leo*, but you never would have known it before.  I never wanted to be the center of attention, I avoided the spotlight, and certainly never tooted my own horn.  I was content and comfortable flying under the radar and not standing out in any way. But, that was before cancer (from now on referred to as b.c.).  After cancer (referred to as, you guessed it, a.c.), I feel like a newer, brighter version of myself. Not brighter as in smarter, although I certainly have learned so much from this experience, but brighter as in more fully alive and able to let myself shine.  One of my favorite quotes is from Nelson Mandela, which says “Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some; it is in everyone.”

I heard it in a movie several years ago and thought it was amazing – but I didn’t truly believe it for myself.  I always came from a place of self-doubt and self-consciousness.  I would worry about what people would think of me if I said or did certain things, or worry that I wasn’t good enough – that was b.c.  Now, a.c., I’ve learned that I’ve been blessed with many gifts for a reason, and to keep them to myself is selfish. I’ve also learned that it doesn’t matter what people think of me and I wasted a lot of time and energy focusing on others’ opinions of me, while the opinion that truly mattered was what I thought of myself. And, I  figured out that I really wasn’t afraid of failing b.c., I was afraid of succeeding.  Success would have meant people would start paying attention to me and start expecting things from me, and I was fearful that I wouldn’t be able to live up to the expectations that could come with that.  Now, I’m embracing myself and showing others who I really am – let them like me or not – and I thank God that I’ve been given this second chance to enjoy life and to enjoy the person I really am  – stepping out of the darkness and living my life now in full color.

*In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’m actually a Leo/Virgo.  I was born on the cusp (August 23rd) and some horoscopes say I’m a Leo, some say Virgo. 

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