Standing Out

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I tried to fit in for so many years…until I realized I was supposed to stand out.

“Don’t over-share,” I was told numerous times, but this was the hardest thing of all, for I knew deep in my core that my strength lay in my vulnerability.

So many messages. Mixed messages. Messages from the outside, drowning out the sound of my inner voice.

Finding balance. Making mistakes. Standing up tall and trying again. Accepting myself for who I am.

“Be relatable to everyone….but be distinguished,

Go with the flow…but make a difference,

Be real…but never let your guard down,

Be modest…but be powerful,

Don’t make waves…but change the world…”

So much to uphold. Sometimes, the bar feels too high to reach. It’s impossible to please everyone. But why do we care so much? Are we pleasing G-d? Is He proud of our work? Are we being true to ourself?

Different strokes for different folks.

We have Sara the matriarch, who stayed in her tent, teaching us about the value of modesty and setting a beautiful traditional path for a Jewish woman to follow…and we have Devorah the prophetess, who blazed the way. She sat outside under the palm tree judging, advising and serving the Jewish people in her own incredibly powerful way, possibly breaking the mold. I assume she got lots of kickback, but that didn’t stop her from doing her holy work and bringing her unique light into the world.

Every person has a unique gift to share with the world. Some will lead quietly, and others will make a splash. One is not better than the other. Both are needed. Be YOURSELF and not someone you are not. Follow your gut. Listen to your intuition, your G-d given binah yeseira. Let your heart lead you. Embrace what makes you different. Listen to your inner voice. Find what makes your heart sing. Celebrate what makes you unique. We are not all meant to be the same. Our gifts and talents are meant to be utilized and enjoyed. The world needs every last contribution.

At the end of life, G-d will look at each soul and ask that famous question:

How come you weren’t YOU?

Let’s aim to be our most authentic self possible.

So what is your strength?

What gift did G-d give you?

And how will you use it to leave your mark on the world?