July 31


Today's quotation:

Youíve got to sing like you donít need the money.  Youíve got to love like youíll never get hurt.  Youíve got to dance like thereís nobody watching.  Youíve got to come from the heart, if you want it to work.

Susanna Clark

Today's Meditation:

I've always been someone who doesn't go all out when I do things.  I know that part of this trend comes from my youth and the way I grew up, but part of it is just the way I am, I believe.  I've spent quite a few years trying to change this aspect of myself, though-- by holding back in the way I express myself, I definitely am not showing a strong trust that life will take care of me.

As we grow, we face a lot of criticism for things that we do.  If we dance or sing, there always will be someone who makes fun of us or what we do.  It doesn't matter that those people are generally coming from a place of envy or jealousy or low self-confidence-- what they say and how they say it still affects us, still can make us feel pretty awful.  And it makes us much more reserved when we dance or sing the next time.  I've seen plenty of young people simply give up when others have criticized them or made fun of them-- especially when it's their parents who do the criticizing.

So we learn to do things well, but without putting everything we have into them.  After all, if we only put a part of ourselves into something, then it's only a part of ourselves that someone is making fun of.  And the rest of ourselves is safe from criticism or mocking; in that way we feel that we're preserving ourselves, protecting ourselves.

But in never giving all that we have to something, we're keeping ourselves from reaching our true potential, and we're not giving ourselves the chance to express ourselves as truly as we're capable of.  And we're also robbing others of the chance to see us as we truly can be.  What a shame that is, especially for the young people who could use a good role model or two.

Questions to consider:

In what ways do you tend to hold back?  Are there times when you give all you have?

What kinds of experiences have you had when you've put your all into something?

Is it easy for others to understand just how important some things are to you?  If they do criticize you, just what does that mean?  Is it a reflection of you and what you've done, or a reflection of themselves and the way they see the world?

For further thought:

I studied the lives of great men and famous women, and I found that the men and women who get to the top are were those who did the jobs they had at hand, with everything they had of energy and enthusiasm and hard work.

Harry S. Truman

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