I’ll never forget the girl who said it to me.
She was one of those super unique people who’s talents are extraordinarily strong and who’s weaknesses rival the strength of the talents. You look at her and say , “whoa, that girl could go places that most of us could never dream of and she’d be so fun to have at every one of my parties, but man… would she be difficult to work with!” Don’t get me wrong, I loved this girl with her strong personality and all. But as she pointed out to me one day, not everyone does.
We were in a class together that was part of our program to get our master’s degrees in counseling. This was the most soul searching and heart exposing class that I’ve ever been a part of. It was a public gut wrenching of sorts that took everything inside of you out and laid it on the bloody table for you (and your classmates) to examine so you could see what was really going on inside of you from a much clearer perspective. So it was during one moment of excessively vulnerable sharing, this particular girl said,
“I’m a bright color and not everyone likes bright colors, but I’m OK with that”.
I was stunned, not only was I amazed at how perfect the analogy of a bright color was for her (she’s the kind of girl who has probably dyed her entire head of hair rainbow colored at some point), but I was astounded that she had come to accept her relationship between herself and the outside world in such a clear way. The thing that struck me the most was that I could tell by the confidence with which she said this that she not only absolutely believed it to be true, but that she was completely comfortable accepting it.
She felt truly free to be herself in a way that I have seen in no other person before that moment or since.
Sure I’ve seen people who are quick to declare that they don’t care what others think of them. But most of these people do it out of an angry heart that’s been hurt by people- sort of a “screw you, I don’t need you and your opinions”- where this girl did it with a spirit of calming peace. Which is the part that I still truly envy to this day.
As I’ve proceeded on my journey of extraordinary living, I still haven’t got used to the strange looks I receive.
Particularly the ones that come when I explain my plans for the future, or sometimes, my lack thereof. I especially can’t get over the straight up disapproving facial expressions directed my way when I express one of my more uncommonly held positions on something. I have definitely learned how to hold back on my real thoughts around most people… a lot. It’s so much easier to only be my true self among people who I know either agree with me or who I feel really “get me”, you know?! Of course this is not only lessening any sort of positive impact that my different sorts of thoughts could have on other people, but it is also extremely destructive to myself. And the same is true for you.
As you begin to pursue a rare existence please remember that it’s OK if you’re a bright color.
You may even be neon, but that doesn’t mean you are inherently flawed because of it – as you may often feel. In fact I believe the exact opposite is true. I believe you there is a specific reason for your neon blinding brightness and that if you choose to hide it you are both destroying your potential for yourself and limiting the impact you could be having on the world. I mean really, there are very few people who adore fluorescent green, but it still continues to stick around so there’s obviously a grand purpose for it’s existence in the color wheel… maybe you should be the one to figure out what it is!
What color are you? Do the people around you know that?
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