Deb Sofield


Let your light shine

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Have you ever met anyone who just seemed to light up a room? Just by their presence they bring a new dimension to the group. Sometimes these folks are loud in personality and style, and sometimes they are on the quiet side, but what they bring is a feeling of joy in the truest sense of the word, and they radiate an aura of calm and peace and tranquility…and, frankly, they are just great people to be around.

Now you may be saying, “Well, Deb, bring them on, because we all could use a friend like that!” I agree, and so my thought for today is, how about you be that person? What is it to say that you can’t set aside your sadness and worry and fear and anger and be the light that you’re supposed to be? Yes, I’m talking to YOU.

I’m done with hearing excuses on how hard it is to get going in life with work and family and every other excuse you have for not doing your part. Hey, guess what? It’s time you grow up. This is your life, and this is the life you’ve been dealt, so you have a responsibility to fill the space, no matter how big or small or even if you don’t feel like it. And if you don’t like your current life, well, then start to make the change. No one is stopping you but you, so stop blaming everyone else for your sad-sack life.

Let me just tell you that some days I don’t feel all that encouraging. I’ve got a lot going on, and I’m busy and I’m tired. Being a sole proprietor, I do it all, but guess what? Really, in the scheme of life, I’ve come to learn that no one cares what my troubles are. Now, of course they care on a surface level–that’s just being polite–but really, in the course of the world spinning in orbit, I’m like everyone else, and I have a responsibility to do to my part–to let my light shine, whether I feel like it or not.

Why do I feel this responsibility and why am I pushing you today you may ask. Because, when all is said and done, you’re blessed–whether you can see it, admit it, own up to it. It doesn’t matter what you think. You’re here, and just by the act of being present in your current situation, you have a responsibility to do your part.

And you know what our part is (I’m in this with you)? It’s to let our light shine–to be our best, to care for others, to do our part, to stop slacking off in hopes that someone else will do our job. I know that there are days or weeks, or maybe months, when you really can’t give much to others, due to life getting in the way, but you can do something. I’ve never met anyone who could not at the very least give something; whether it is time, a listening ear, fixing a simple problem, making a meal or giving someone fresh vegetables or flowers from their garden.

The problem is pride. Most of us think we have to do BIG things for others so everyone can see our generosity and largesse, but that’s not the case; most of the people in your circle have all they need–maybe not all they want, but they have enough to get by–so why do you think you need to blow it out of the water. Self pride: you want to be hailed, recognized and loved–and I don’t blame you–but that’s not what we’re talking about today. You can do that when you inherit a million dollars or win the lottery, but for today just do you part and let your light shine by your words, your actions, your time and your love.

You know that money doesn’t make it easier. Trust me, there is always someone with more money than you, but what they don’t have is your spirit, your heart, your kindness; your light that can shine in the darkest hours. There is not enough money in the world to buy that or take that away.

I meet a lot of people who have given up on living their best life ever, because it is easy to be average, and they think it is okay to be good enough.

If there is one phrase that makes me want to scream, it is the phrase “good enough”. Whatever happened to being great? To be better tomorrow than you were today–to push yourself to be your best, to set an example for your family, friends and co-workers to be the best they can be? Why do you settle for average? Beside the fact that it’s easy, why do you settle for less than your best? Have you thought about it? Why do you give so little, when your time on this earth is so short?  Really, why do you shortchange those you claim to love and care for by being less than your best?

Is it because you were told years ago by people who really don’t know you that you’re not good enough, and you believed them? Friend, they’re wrong! Have you bought into this world’s false advertising that everyone is physically beautiful, smart and rich? Those people on the magazine covers are only there for a year or so and then they fade away. Why? Because they are not real. When did you accept the words of others who don’t want you to succeed, because they live in a world of scarcity and not plenty? These people don’t have room for one more, because they are selfish and take everything they can; that’s not you. Those are not your people (and if they are, run away). Why are you settling for less than your best? And why are you listening to people who don’t have your best at heart? Why are you spending time with negative, selfish, unkind people who are takers and not givers?

Why? Are you comfortable there? You can’t be. It’s not your tribe, and over time they will dull your light until they blow it out.

I know the world is full of takers–people who will take everything you’ve got and ask for more—but, remember, those are damaged people who want everything for themselves and will not share or give to others, unless it is on their terms, and their terms are not reasonable by any stretch of the imagination.

If someone is a taker and does not give back to you or to others who have helped them, walk away. You don’t have to keep giving, because, friend, it will never be enough, and they will prey on your kindness and good will until you are spent, and then they will walk away and look for someone else to steal from…and, yes, I believe that those who are takers are stealing, and it is wrong.

I don’t care how damaged they are that they use it for an excuse. I hear it all the time:  their parent died, or they got a divorce, or they lost their job, or no one loved them so they have a bad self image. I know I sound harsh, but I hear it all the time all across America, and I’m over it. Hear me, these takers will never change, because somewhere along life’s path they took a detour and let their light burn out, so they don’t have to share anymore with others.

If you know someone like this, run away from them. They can find their own tribe and steal from each other, but, starting today, they are done stealing from you. So now you’ve got to walk away and don’t look back, as appealing as they are, because you want to help them to look at their past, watch their present situation and notice it is the same thing over and over and it never changes. So, free yourself–you’ve done all you can for them. Do no more, because they are dimming your light.

Now I am all about being your biggest brightest rock star light, but I will tell you I’m surprised that, for most people, being a night-light is about all the light they can muster to shine–really, just a faint light, so they don’t bump into things at night or stub their toe going to the bathroom–nothing too great, but barely enough to get by. Why? Because average is good enough for many of you–your marriage is average, your family is average, your job is average and you’re just comfortable living in an average world. Whew! How you can do that is beyond me, when the light you could be shining could change someone’s life.

So, friend, you’ve got to think about this. Think about what it would take to let your light shine–your inward spirit and soul & being allowing you to shine brightly. And the reason this matters is because you have a responsibility. Like it or not, you have a responsibility to shine brightly for others to see their way through the darkness.

Ray Davis once said, Your greatness is revealed not by the lights that shine upon you, but by the light that shines within you.

And I love the quote from Maya Angelou who said, Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.

I agree, the light that shines within you is a lasting light to show the way not only for you, but for others. So, that little light of mine I’m going to let it shine and not put it under a bushel, and neither should you. Shine on, friend! Shine on.

Deb Sofield

Deb Sofield is a Keynote Speaker, Author of the book, Speak without Fear – Rock Star Presentation Skills to get People to Hear What You Say and Encouragement For Your Life ~ Tough Love Memos to Help You Fight Your Battles and Change the World, Radio Talk Show Host in the Salem Network, Podcaster and President of her own Executive Speech Coaching Co., which trains women and men for success in speaking, crisis communications, presentation skills, media and message development in the U.S. and abroad.

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