Lesson 2: Accept Yourself As You Are
In Emerald’s Big Discovery, when Emerald found out that she was red, she was ecstatic. She explored her redness. Reveled in all that she could do. And at no time did she wish that she was darker red or lighter red. More fire engine, less candy apple. She didn’t say “I’m great at strawberries but have you seen my cherries? Ugh. Terrible”
No! She was just happy to be red! She could colour strawberries! Isn’t that wonderful!
We humans, on the other hand, are a bit more complicated than a wee red crayon. We are a beautiful combination of attributes and limitations. Shining glory and murky shadows. And we’re not great at accepting that fact.
Frankly, I think that our big brains get in the way, and we could really learn a thing or two from Emerald.
Generally speaking, when it comes to this topic, I believe that humanity can be divided into two main groups. In Group A, we like to focus on our good stuff but we’re not so keen on acknowledging those parts of us that are not so bright and shiny. They could be sitting in the middle of a room like a giant elephant wearing a tutu and we’re all…”Nope, nope, don’t see anything” We whistle as we look the other way. And eventually, we start believing that we are better than others because the only shadows we see belong to them, not us. So let’s say that the A stands for Arrogant, because that is what we become when we hang out here too long. We become an Asshole.
In Group B, we spend our days dragging that same tutu-wearing elephant everywhere we go. We can’t even see our bright and shiny bits past the elephant’s girth. The light we do see belongs to others, not us. We are less than. Inferior. So the B stands for Broken, because that is how we feel much of the time when we hang out here. Just Bad.
Although I have visited both groups, for years I hung out in Group B. I berated myself for my darkness. Anxiety, depression…it was a burden that I never put down. My shiny bits weren’t so shiny with that shadow hanging over them.
But somewhere along the line, my thinking started to change. I started to see my darkness as just a part of a whole. Not a curse at all. Just another tool that I can use to bring my own, unique contributions to this world. My shadow isn’t so bad. It is what it is. Everyone has one. Let’s move on.
Which leads us to Group C. What if we could see that we are all exactly as we are meant to be, with shiny bits and dull bits? Lightness and darkness? What if it’s the combination of our strengths and weaknesses that allows us to bring our gifts into this world? Allows us to be our unique, inspired, authentic self, as Colette Baron-Reid says. So let’s say C stands for Clarity. Confidence. Courage. Colour.
I wanna hang out in Group C. Don’t you?
And if we hang out here long enough, we start to see ourselves and others as we truly are. Light and dark. Happy and sad. Strong and weak. And it’s OK. It’s OK that we’re not all perfect because it takes all that we have to offer to heal this ailing world of ours. I mean really, isn’t that what it’s all about?
So yes, we are more complex than a little red crayon, but the message is the same. Embrace yourself. Accept yourself. You are beautiful, just as you are. All of you. Truly.