Born This Way (For a Reason)
I’ve always been on the quiet side, rather shy, introspective, and thoughtful. I’m an observer, I pay attention to everything and everyone around me, and I take it all in. It takes me a while to warm up and to open up. It takes time for me to let my guard down, to trust anyone enough that I can stop worrying about what they might be thinking, and simply be all of who I am.
As a child, I was always “too much” or “not enough.” Year after year, teachers would tell my parents that I was too quiet, too shy, or too sensitive. Year after year, teachers would say that I wasn’t outgoing enough, I didn’t participate enough, or I didn’t speak up enough.
Over time, that message sunk in: I wasn’t enough as I was. I was lacking. Something was wrong with me. It wasn’t okay to be myself.
Not surprisingly, for most of my life, I wished I could be different. Why couldn’t I just relax? Why didn’t I just know what to say in any situation? What was wrong with me that I was always on the outside, looking in?
And then one day, I became a mother, and I realized how wrong I had been all of these years. No, there wasn’t anything wrong with me. The only thing that was wrong was how I had been viewing and judging myself for so long.
In becoming a mother (now to three beautiful souls), I’ve been given the gift of seeing how we each come into our world with our own unique personalities, our preferences, our strengths, our style. Before I was a mother, I guess I thought (rather naively) that babies were pretty much all the same and the way we turned out was largely due to our families and our life experiences.
As a mother, I can tell you with absolute certainty that each of my children came into our world as his or her own unique self.
From birth, my oldest has always been rather strong-willed. Now at nine, I admire her thoughtfulness and sensitivity. She’s so tuned into the world around her, both her physical surroundings and the emotions of others. She thinks and feels deeply. She has big ideas and dreams, and when she sets her mind (and heart) on something, she is simply unstoppable. As a mother, I hope that this inner strength and determination will help her to always honor herself and her heart’s true desires.
My son was a peaceful, happy, easygoing baby. At almost seven-years-old, he’s still on the quiet, introspective side. He’s always thinking and exploring. He’s incredibly kindhearted, and helping others just seems to come naturally to him. He loves jokes (and will always explain why a joke is funny) and his laughter is contagious. As a mother, I hope that his gentle spirit and openness (to his gifts, the people in his life, and the adventure of life itself) will allow him to share all of who he is and uplift those around him throughout his journey.
With my youngest, I can remember being amazed by how loudly she could scream or squeal as a baby. In our rather quiet family, she’s definitely the talkative one in our house and can easily carry on a conversation (quite happily) by herself. Now at five, she still has her fiery spirit and immense love of life. She’s playful and loving, always laughing (and finding ways to make everyone else laugh) and openly telling everyone in our family how much she loves us, as she covers us in hugs and kisses. As a mother, I hope that her passion (for life and the people in her life) and contagious joy, will only grow throughout the years, allowing her to share her love and shine her light, in any way she feels called, everywhere she goes.
From my experience and observations as a mother, here is my new theory: We are each born as we are for a reason. Yes, life might shape us, but we each come into our world with our own unique gifts, love and light to share. Sometimes our world might try to hide or dim this light. Somewhere along the way, we forgot that we need the love, light, and gifts that each person is here to share.
When we connect, heart-to-heart, soul-to-soul, I know that there is nothing wrong with you. You are here for a reason and our world needs you (yes you, all of you, exactly as you are) right now. We need your voice, your perspective, your ideas, and your passion. We need the love and light that only you can share.
This is your invitation: Stop hiding. Stop trying to change or improve or disguise any part of who you are in order to blend in or fit in or belong. You are not too much. You are not lacking in any way. You are whole and complete and valuable beyond measure. You were born this way, the only you that we’ll ever have, and for that, I am truly thankful.
Thank you for being all of who you are. You are a blessing. You matter (so much more than you will ever know) and the world is a better place because you are here.
Beyond her life as a wife and mother, Becky McCleery is a Connection and Community Coach and Strategist. She helps heart-centered, spirit-led teachers (including authors, coaches, and healers) shine their light and share their message, so they can serve their right people and making a living while making a difference. You can connect with Becky and sign up for her free course, Build Your Beloved Community, at Teach Something That Matters.