“Though she be but little, she is fierce.” ~ A gifted keychain from my first supervisor in film.
Sometimes I wonder, or fear, I’ve been hiding myself from the world out of potential pain. I’ve endured an unnecessary amount of pain within this year that will soon close — suffering. I was suffering, silently.
But I also found and created the pieces of myself that were lost in that fire. Thankfully, I came out alive. And still trying to live. But aside from work (which I actually enjoy now), I’m not sure if I have been doing enough living.
I’m not judging myself especially what I’ve been through this year. So I know it’ll take time for me to move through the world again and feel some sort of safety while doing so. But what I’ve learned is there is none, especially for women like me. Safety might be a psychological illusion at the end of the day, but it is a necessary one to get through the day. I’ve had to cultivate my own safety net. In doing so, I’ve learned to choose solitude with peace and sometimes joy because the other options weren’t greater than that.
Let me give you an example: Someone may ask me to go out for a drink, event, or party. But I’m not exactly sure how I feel about this person. I’m not sure if I actually like them as a person, or can tolerate the parts I don’t, or even trust this person enough to be outside of my comfort zone (home) with them. And if it’s ever a question I have to think too long to answer, I don’t go. That’s me protecting my light.
I’ve been taking more risks in my chosen career now than before – so risky, I can’t always tell when the next gig is coming through. But surely by God, they continue to come through! I haven’t been without work since I switched paths (I’m in film production now, btw).
As I went through the fire and learned the many things about myself and the world around me, the one I practice daily is protecting my light. When I was younger, on the outside I appeared to be one of the happiest children you could find. But that was on the outside. The feelings I had on the inside was a different story for another piece. Nonetheless, the blissful part of me I exerted was still true. So with joy like that, you tend to want to share it with the world so everyone else can experience it.
I had to learn in many hard ways, all of the world does not want that. There may be some that do, but there are many that don’t. And that’s ok. But it is my duty to identify those that do not appreciate my light and keep it to my self so I don’t lose it. The light in all of us is our essence. It’s the make-up of our soul, tendencies, bodies, our way of being on every level – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. It’s the energetic force we each carry.
It took me nearly the entire first quarter of my life to learn everyone I may meet, speak to, or cross paths with, does not deserve or need my light. Some prefer the dark. And your light might annoy them, then they’ll want to extinguish it. So I’ve been protecting my light. That’ll look like staying home more often than I’d like but also reveling in the comfort of my safety and presence.
Beyoncé mentioned something like this earlier this year, but in the context of the entertainment industry. I understood exactly what she meant then, but now I put it into full practice. ‘This little light of mine’ will continue to shine but only when I want. I’ve given enough of myself for free through every stage of my life to the world around me and very few moments have I felt reciprocity.
Let your light shine, but only when you want it, never on another person’s time or comfort because it will end in self-sacrifice.