The brighter you shine the more blinding it will become for those not attuned to it. I was recently chatting to a dear friend who has moved to NYC, landing an amazing position in finance (she’s was a laywer). She’s the most wonderful and inspiring person, utterly talented and intelligent, hilarious, and physically gorgeous to boot. So you can imagine her breezing into New York from Sydney with her determined yet casual attitude and burning up her new office. She rang me really upset, as many of the women in the workplace were speaking shit about her. She was really just doing her best and trying really hard to succeed in a dog eat dog environment. So when one woman, in particular, came up to her and ‘in confidence’ said that SHE wasn’t upset by my friend at all, but she wanted her to know (because ‘she liked her soooo much’) that a lot of people were talking and maybe she should cool down her talents and try to fit in a little bit more, she was ashamed. Also, it was relayed that many of the executive level managers really liked her and this ‘was problematic’ and causing a lot of tension amongst everyone.
Give me a fucking break. I explained that this woman, in particular, was the most dangerous and to keep as far away from her as possible. We spoke deeply about how it can sometimes seem that the easier, less painful option is to dim your light to fit in. But this comes at a massive cost, a debt we never want to have.
I am exhausted by people, and I’m going to state it for the record, ESPECIALLY WOMEN, that choose to not be inspired and invigorated by someone wonderful. It’s a choice to be threatened, it’s a CHOICE to gossip, a choice to relay unhelpful information and continue the cycle of shame.
I felt compelled to share this as my daughter also recently had a crappy experience with the girls from her old school. And as I sat with her over many days, we discussed the sisterhood, real friendships and what it meant to shine bright, at all costs. Why we can’t stop what we are doing, or edit who we are, because it makes other people flustered, mean or catty.
I urge you to catch any biases, programmed beliefs or patterns where you might be consciously or unconsciously pulling someone down. Don’t feel ashamed, just cut it the hell out, and rewrite the way you are in the world.
Sent with love,