Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thank you Marianne Williamson

My youngest daughter was aghast.  "Mom. You posted a link to an article about yourself on your Facebook. Isn't that narcissistic?"

"Probably." I replied. "But why shouldn't I post it? The reporter wrote it for people to read. I was honoured and humbled by her desire to do something to celebrate my work in the homeless sector. And, I appreciated her support in helping me shine my light to inspire others to shine theirs."

"Wouldn't not posting it be false? I am proud of what Katie Turner wrote in Metro News. I want her to know she's touched my heart. What better way than to share the story?"

It's a funny conundrum. Be proud of what you've done -- but don't talk about it. And a refrain from childhood flits through my mind -- don't be vain.  And the refrain from Carly Simon's 1972 hit joins in the cacophony of self-censorship. "You're so vain. I bet you think this song is about you. You're so vain."

But I don't think this song is 'about' me. Just as I don't think what I've done is about me. It's about living my magnificence. Being my best. Sharing my brilliance -- and inspiring others to see that they can too. -- Live their magnificence. Be their best. Share their brilliance.

And yet, for all my spaciousness around my daughter's comments, I come home and see several people have commented on my FB link -- and I don't want to read what they wrote. I want to pull down the mention of the article and pretend -- it doesn't matter.

But it does. Matter.

Because I don't want to buy into the notion that celebrating me is bad. I don't want to hide my light for fear it makes others feel uncomfortable -- or think less of me.

Thank you Marianne Williamson.  My deepest fear is not that I am inadequate. My deepest fear is that I am powerful beyond measure.

People will always think of you what they will. As I learned many years ago -- Your opinion of me is none of my business. My opinion of me is what makes the difference for me, just as your opinion of you should be the most important opinion you listen to.

And so I come full circle. I was honoured by a reporter wanting to write a tribute as a farewell and a 'coming out from the shelter' story. She wanted to say, 'job well done'.

And I appreciate it. Because, as I leave this place where I have worked for almost six years, giving my best to shine a light on homelessness, I feel thankful to have had the opportunity, and the space to do a 'job well done'.

And my daughter's boyfriend chimes in. "Actually. I think it's pretty smart. If you're looking for new contracts and to let people know what you're doing next, what better way than that?  Isn't that what you did everyday. Get the media to tell the stories so that people knew what the shelter and homelessness was all about?"

Yes. And for the same reason I wrote The Dandelion Spirit and did a host of other things around women and abuse, I want my story of living in the light of magnificence to be heard so that everyone will do the same -- no matter their circumstances. No matter their condition. No matter where they stand on the street.

Yeah. I'm okay.

In fact, I'm awesome!  Just like you! Let's be awesome together and give the world our best! In our best, we create a world of difference.



Maureen said...

We never know when a story we tell or a story that someone tells about us will be the inspiration another needs to step out and become more, do more, be more.

Congratulations, Louise. Your work at DI is noteworthy and deserves being recognized. You've given so much of yourself to others. How many of us truly have the opportunity to change lives? You did, and you made the most of it.

Merry Christmas! Love to you and yours.

Anonymous said...

I was glad to hear about the story. The people on FB are your friends...not an audience. We love you and like to know what is going on with you. THe good along with the bad and the ugly. Life stuff. We cry with you and we cheer with you. It's all good.

Alyssa Wright said...

As I always tell my publicity clients: If YOU say you're the best thing since sliced bread, you're probably being annoying. But if someone ELSE has published that you're the best thing since sliced bread -- send everyone the clipping and quote them to your heart's content!

There's nothing wrong with being happy your hard work was recognized. A little validation is a much-needed thing from time to time. And, as the boyfriend mentioned, it's probably good for marketing! :-)

S. Etole said...

So many Christmas blessings to you and yours! And you are indeed awesome.

Megan Willome said...

I really struggle with not wanting anyone to notice me, and yet, I work in the public eye at a magazine. I agree with your daughter's boyfriend, but I could not take his advice if he were my daughter's boyfriend.