My little five-year-old daughter had her very first sleep over with her favorite girlfriend last weekend. It was such a profound experience for me to observe.
These two little fireballs of energy turned our home into a pinball machine, bouncing all over the place from one grand moment to the next, sparking all kinds of bells and whistles with every bump.
It was so awesome I even laughed at the mess made in the madness as a triumph of true abandon and glee. That’s when you know it’s good, when mommy says, “YES, make a mess!” Live it that fully, feel it that deeply, devour that moment.
God, to live that passion—isn’t that what we all long to master as grownups? To be exactly who we are and live every precious moment with pure passion like these little girls.
Even as I burst out laughing I found myself tearing up. It looked so free.
How brilliant to truly see the purity of being exactly who we really are at play. It is so clear to see in kids how all that creative imagination is unleashed. Kids live out loud, and let their whole self shine and meet each other at full force with who they are.
This is what it is like, to “be,” I thought, without observing, judging, criticizing, who you’re being.
It reminded me of a conversation I just had with a spiritual teacher who said, “We all have the ability to live free—to express exactly who we are all the time.” Why don’t we then? I asked. “Ahh, through the years,” he sighed, “we start silencing our voice. We get shy sharing our true selves. We blanket our beings with doubts and fears. That blanket can become a sheild we use to hide from others and ourselves because we think we are the blanket and not what lies beneath it.” “As grownups,” he reminded, “we forget we are that joy, that purity of spirit and that the key to absolute happiness is to unleash it by unleashing the real you.”
That really spoke to me, especially watching these girls be so wildly themselves. We grownups need to grow down more into ourselves to remember who we are at play.
I watched these precious girls voraciously emptying the dress-up box. They were trying on princess dresses of every color, high heels with fuzzy toes and kicking them off as fast as they put them on. They paraded before the mirror making big-girl poses and funny faces and calling to mommy, “Look at meeeee!” openly celebrating their amazing selves.
When is the last time we unabashedly celebrated our amazing selves?
How is it we grow up and grow away from openly celebrating who we are? At what age do we start feeling so ridiculously unworthy. It’s so damaging.
We spend too much time and energy deluded in our unworthiness, we have little left to empower who we really are and our reason for being here. Buried beneath our blankets we deny the world our true joy and all the creative contributions that come when you’re free and feeling connected to your true self.
I think this is the number one cause of depression; repressing who we are and what we are here to do and be. I know deeply the longing to get out from under my own blanket.
I’ve come to an age where I know real fulfillment comes from real self acceptance; from daring to be just as you are and expressing all that is truly in you no matter the fallout.
I’m not talking about unkind candor. I’m talking about living out loud like these kids. Owning what I feel, enjoy, desire, dislike, need. That is living out loud. Being willing to disappoint another to be true to yourself and your voice.
When we fully express all we are and desire, the most amazing things happen. That profound self acceptance and ownership cues the universe to open a clear path to our highest destiny. Every time I’ve dared to be a daring dame and voice all I hope for, feel, and desire, some people and opportunities have fallen away. But what does present itself is utterly perfect and expanding, and feels more right than ever before.
It’s like that brilliant poem Nelson Mandela read during his inauguration, “On Shining.” The part that asks,
“Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small
does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine,
as children do.
We were born to make manifest
the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.”
Imagine if we all dared to be that much more ourselves. It would fuel us to love more fearlessly, feel things important to us more deeply, and would allow us to truly connect to what is so meaningful to our lives.
It also encourages us to go after our tallest dream, to believe that much in who we are, to not allow fears and doubts to blanket our mission. I know because I’ve lived it. When I’ve been brave and bold with who I really am and what I really want, what I draw forth has changed my life.
It’s my kids who remind me of the power of being free and the magic of being exactly who you are. I saw this great painting on a building that read, “You’re never too young to dream big.” scribbled by a little girl using chalk on a dark wall. A reminder that it is never too late to be who we are born to be.
As our sleepover wound down, the girls went out like a flash—two shooting stars—Out! Spent! Full!
As I shut out the lights, all I wanted was to turn mine on as bright as I ever have. If we all could have faith that God made us exactly as we are for a reason and that we are a gift just as we are and have a destiny to fulfill, how much happier we grownups would be. How much more beautiful the world would be.
Giselle Fernandez is a five-time Emmy® Award-winning journalist, producer, filmmaker, entrepreneur, and philanthropist.