in the dark.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of confidence lately.  And the other day, I posted this on Instagram

“Confidence is a tricky thing. We all strive to achieve it, yet once we have it, feel pressure to apologize for it. Confidence is beautiful. But confidence is scary to those who lack it. And, sadly, judgement is easier than acceptance. So we hide our confidence so as to not offend those who are afraid. And to avoid being judged. We hide our beauty. DO NOT be afraid. Don’t hide. Don’t judge. Be beautiful. Be confident. BE you.”

Then I asked everyone to tag the most confident person they know.  And many, many people did.  I started this beautiful love train that made me so happy to sit back and marvel at. 
Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we simultaneously become ashamed when we feel our most confident?Fear.

We’re afraid of what others will think of us.  So we dim our light to not outshine the crowd.  And it somehow feels safer in the dark, doesn’t it?  The crowd can’t see us to judge us if we’re hiding in the dark.  But if that’s what the crowd wants from us, then we’re with the wrong crowd.  And if we’re hiding, we’re not doing or creating or BEing.

There’s an amazing Aristotle quote that says,

‘To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.’ 

I repeat those words in my head whenever I let the fear creep in.  Whenever I let that fear of what others may think of me and my confidence overshadow the confidence itself.

And then there’s this quote,

‘You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, but there will always be someone who hates peaches.’

I am so in love with that one.  You can’t please everybody, (and trust me, I’m the poster child for that statement), so why try?  Do what pleases you.  Make yourself the best YOU and then everything else will fall into place.  Blur the negative, muffle it, don’t let those voices be what define you.  Those voices may be louder, they may be screaming at you from all angles, but you just focus on the positive, the sometimes soft and tiny voices telling you you’re beautiful and worthy, and you won’t get stuck alone in the dark.

* * *

I, myself, have never had a problem with confidence.  I’ve always known the things I was good at, my strengths (and weaknesses).  But I have always, always struggled with being open about it…being confident about confidence, if you will.  I have always apologized for it, or simply not shared it at all.  Out of fear.  I’m working on it.  And hopefully (unapologetically) putting this post out there will help that.  

One of the things I’m working on being OK with sharing is my writing.  Stories, poems, songs… That’s why I changed the format of this blog last year.  Instead of only sharing recipes (just one part of what makes me me), I decided to share all that makes me me.  It was scary at first.  I knew I would be judged.  And I have been.  But, at the end of the day, I’m doing something that I was once scared of and because of that, I am stronger.  And more confident.  
A game I like to play with myself is this- whenever I feel frightened of taking a confident leap, I pretend someone has dared me to do it. And I, my friends, NEVER shy away from a dare.  So I do it, I share that thing, whatever it was that I was fearful of being judged on. And I come out stronger because of it. My writing is very personal, especially what I’m about to share with you here, but I’ve learned recently that sharing something personal can be incredibly freeing. 
So.  Let freedom ring…
One of my favorite songs on the planet is by City and Colour.  It’s called ‘We Found Each Other In The Dark’.  It’s a song I discovered just last year but I immediately fell in deep, hard and fast love with it.  It’s a song about love.  About heartache.  About holding on tightly to someone, even when all the elements are tugging at your grasp.
The other day I started thinking about that song, the lyrics I know by heart and soul, and decided I would rework it into a poem.  (If you don’t know the song, I urge you to listen to it, or at the very least read the lyrics.  I’ll wait. )

The poem is mine but the idea behind it is pure Dallas Green.  What a beautiful, beautiful mind.  
So even though the light is where we find most of the things we have been searching for-…sometimes what you didn’t know you wanted has been hiding all along in the dark.

in the dark.
in the dark i found a face
i followed the sound of bells
and now we sit in empty space
our vessel restless in the swells
a heart of flames to light the path
like beasts we found our way
through the smoke and all the ash
we strive to find the day
in the dark i heard a voice
it says we’re gonna live 
to live like them oh rejoice!
too many things we’d give
we rock along through starless seas
the lonesome air so stark
and here we are it seems that we
have found each other in the dark
Go out and BE today, babes. 
I dare ya. 

Hungry? One year ago I posted this recipe for (Avocado) Chocolate Pudding…check it out!  (kid approved!)
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