Several years ago, my dear friend Jen and I had just had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, a totally authentic Japanese BBQ place in Costa Mesa. The line is out the door and the wait is sometimes too long, but the food is delicious and well worth it.
Anyway, after dinner we ended up chatting for a long time in her car. I was sad because a relationship with a former boyfriend had not worked out. Even though I had broken up with him, I had still wanted it to work out… for him to do the right thing, to be strong and not weak, to be the good, kind, generous, and moral person I wished he could be. He possessed all the right traits that society finds respectable and admirable, and maybe because of that, he was also self-centered and selfish. Despite all my efforts to think for “us,” at the end, he chose what was right for himself. Alas, I felt betrayed.
Of course, I wondered – what would have happened if I did not break up with him? Would we still be together? I kicked myself for severing the relationship. Since I try so hard to be a loving and giving person, I berated myself and questioned if it was because I was not loving enough to look past his faults and upbringing that our relationship had failed. Yes, funny how things turn around in our minds – now I blamed myself and it was entirely my fault that our relationship did not last. (In retrospect, our communication was clearly lacking.)
So, on this occasion of me recounting the unfortunate consequences, my dear friend gave me one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received: Don’t Let Anyone Steal Your Light.
She was so sweet to point out all my beautiful qualities, and to tell me “you have such a BRIGHT light. Do not let anyone take that away from you.”
That’s so true, isn’t it? We all have such a great capacity for love and generosity and joy and happiness but unfortunately, not everyone wants the best for us. They hurt us, either intentionally or inadvertently. Most of the time it’s because of their own selfish goals or possibly their insecurities, but we need to remember that natural human instinct, forgive them and brush it off and move on.
When we let someone else bother us, make us sad, or question our self-worth, they are stealing our light. When we continue to dwell on sadness, anger, or how life isn’t fair, our light subsequently gets dimmer and dimmer.
It really is our responsibility to protect our own happiness, joy, and yes, our personal bright light and the unique, special person we are. None of us are perfect, but we cannot let others mock our imperfections and make us feel less than the amazing creature that’s like no other person in the whole world.
So, my best advice to you, as passed on from a wonderful friend is: do not let anyone steal your light. Let it burn so ever brightly and shine for the whole world to revel and bask in.
(Photo credit: weheartit.com)