...for somebody else. Period. End of Sentence.
(or, Renounce the Dream Spitters Part II)
I first heard this phrase from Tyra Banks and I love it SO much! Everyone is born with a light inside of them and I believe that every person's true purpose is to shine that light into the world. Some of us choose to dull that shine and cover it over with mud or armor based on negative things we've heard from others. Many people feel that a person's light can be too bright, and is therefore threatening or intimidating to others and so in those other people's opinions, that light needs to be dimmed or hidden or concealed. But as much as we want to blame other people for dulling our shine, we ultimately do it to ourselves. No one truly has the power to darken our light except us.
This goes along with living in the present and letting go of the people in your life who do not raise you up and support you. When I've talked before about relinquishing relationships that no longer align with your current purpose in life I've been met with some backlash. "But we've been friends for 30 years!" They'll say. Or "What about honoring the history we have together?" To which I would respond, "Are you still using anything purposeful from 30 years ago when you first met? A phone attached to the wall with a curly cord coming out of the receiver? A hot pink jacket with oversized white buttons and big shoulder pads? A cassette tape player? Yes, there's definitely something nostalgic about these things and those friends we had back then. But if the friend's values and attitudes no longer line up with yours then there is no place for them in your lives. They belong with the outdated appliances and methods of doing things.
And that's okay.
So many of us are reluctant to let go of people we've known for a long time because they are a connection to the past. I understand that, but along with the happy memories they also have to provide you with present day joy and support. Just because someone was a friend to you during a particular season in your life when you may have particularly needed them and what they had to offer you at the time, doesn't mean that they are meant to be a friend for the rest of your life. Essentially it doesn't matter what they might have done for you in the past, if they are not there for you the way you need them to be NOW, then they are not worth holding on to.
Remember those Dream Spitters I was talking about? So many of them are from our past, who knew us a certain way and then when we changed our habits, beliefs, and programming, they couldn't understand it and felt the need to undermine what their own brains couldn't process. When I first moved away from my hometown there were some people who couldn't imagine that I would do such a thing. They had lived there for their entire lives, their parents and grandparents had lived there forever, and therefore they had no vision of ever venturing out past their familiar ground. Because they were unable to see my point of view, they were likewise unable to give encouragement or be happy for me and my own choices.
As I'm thinking about this, I'm realizing that throughout my life there have been many many people who didn't "get" me. My way of thinking, my sense of humor, my core belief system, and my outlook on life overall. In continuing to think about it, I'm realizing that things like my way of thinking, my sense of humor, my core belief system, and my outlook on life overall have changed significantly (and in some cases quite drastically) over the years. Because of the choices I have made I can honestly say that I am a radically different person now than I was in my 30s, the person I was in my 30s was very different from the person I was in my 20s, and the person I was in my 20s was somewhat different from the person I was as as teen and child. Most people change throughout their lives, some more notably than others, and there is no guarantee that the people in your life will change the same way or at the same rate that you do. Hopefully you will all be able to support each other through all of the changes but not everyone will be able to do that.
And that's okay too.
No matter where you are in life, if there are people in your life who do not support your decisions and the way you choose to life the precious life you were given, then they do not need one more moment of your time and effort. Love and friendship are supposed to be positive and feel good. They should help to alleviate stress, not be the cause. If people don't "get" you, then find the people that do. Remember that some people are meant to be in your life for a season, not a lifetime. Above all, remember that no one has the right to dull your shine, and you have no right to let them.
"If a person closes the curtains to block out a blazing sun, that has no effect whatsoever on the sun that keeps on shining and fulfilling its glorious purpose." - Rachel Cole
Don't let someone else's curtains block your light. You're better off leaving them in the dark.