June 1, 2010
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It’s my nature to sit back quietly at parties and chat with a few friends rather than mingle, and for much of my life this made me feel inadequate. I’d watch others mix easily at social gatherings and feel shy and self-conscious, like a teenager perched awkwardly at the edge of a high school dance. When I did make myself get out there and socialize, my conversation would become forced, my energy strained. At the end of the evening I’d be exhausted.
It wasn’t until I accepted the fact that I’m ok just the way I am that I discovered the pleasure in relaxing and allowing myself to simply be me. It was a relief to sit at a party with a chatty pair and simply be quiet, to listen without feeling pressured to interject my comments. I found that my stillness became yin to their yang; my calmness made room for their energy. My contribution to the conversation was space that gave my friends more room to speak.
When we work against our nature our efforts are spent trying to be something we’re not rather than growing and expanding our natural talents. The gifts we have to offer, the unique contributions that we’re meant to make in the world, become buried under the heavy weight of pretense.
It’s a relief now to walk into a gathering without the burden of expectations. To understand that I don’t need to be in the middle of the action to enjoy it. To realize that a quiet conversation is just as valuable as being the life of the party.
To know that I’m at my very best when I’m simply myself.
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