I stand before my closet of clothes. These are all clothes I picked out, perfectly fine clothes, but nothing here feels right today. Nothing says “ME” exactly. There are parts of my personality that are simply not expressed by any of these garments.

I go shopping to get something new, the proper outfit for who I am in this moment, on this day. I find a cool, hippy-chic dress. It’s a little showy, interesting and FUN. I take a twirl in the dressing room and admire my image in the mirror. Yes, I know that girl; confident with some sparkle and quirk. Me! A definite yes.

Standing in line to pay, an odd feeling comes over me … doubt. This dress reflects how I feel, but it is a departure. Questions arise. Is it too much? Maybe it is too showy. Can I pull it off outside the dressing room, where people’s expectations of me may not jive with this choice? I was so happy and free wearing it just moments ago, but now I wonder. Maybe I look too good in it, maybe I feel too confident. That feels risky somehow.

I hang the dress on the rack and walk away. Like a million other people, for a million different reasons, I make a choice based in fear. I decide to dial it down, rather then turn it up. I choose the norm over the extraordinary, safety over truth.

A million different people, for a million other reasons choose to be bold in the face of fear. They show themselves honestly even if it lands them on the fringe. Instead of choosing to be safe, they choose to be themselves. In doing so, I believe they provide a safer World for the rest of us. They light a path of freedom and acceptance. They stretch our expectations, rather than limiting them.

Of course their collective spirit implores me to buy the dress. They’d want you to buy it too! Choose your sparkle and quirk. Being true to who you are? That applies to all of us. It is the LIVE part of “Live and Let Live”. We can’t have the latter without the former.

Admiring the light of the fearless and the free, inspires me to stand in my own light. Thank you. If we ALL stand fully in our light we begin to see and appreciate the light in others. “Different” becomes steadily less scary and we can see it for what it is: Beautiful.


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