Be Bright, Not Basic!

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So when I first Facebook friended a guy I liked, he posted something on his wall. And man, did it irk me. And when I was still considering him, it haunted the back of my mind.

The post went something like this:

“Give me the most basic girl, and I’ll show you my future wife.”

First of all, he liked “me,” so did he find “me” basic? Was I in the category of “future potential wife”?

Really, I overanalyzed—I mean, we hadn’t even gone on a date yet—but still:

I KNEW I WASN’T BASIC.

And see, my crush was calm, a thinker, someone I’d noticed for over a year before he eventually (what took him so long!) came up to ask for my number.

Anyways, I think I kept that sentence and the word “basic” in the back of my head for the whole time he was a part of it.

So when he slipped away, ghosted, I felt it was my “unbasicness” that scared him off. (I know that’s not a real word.) But I knew I couldn’t hide it.

I mean, I ran a business.

I was a strong, expressive girl who loved to share via writing and speaking.

I shone.

At the risk of sounding cocky or something, I knew I couldn’t hide under a bushel.

Gosh, I wanted SO MUCH to be the quieter girl on the sidelines observing. That peaceful girl who looks like Liesl in The Sound of Music, all eyes and beauty. Instead, God is having me come to terms with the way he made me, with my babbling-brook nature. A girl who puts her foot in her mouth a good number of times. A girl who can’t resist sharing just one more thing, just one more text, just one more story. The girl who when excited babbles. The girl who when nervous babbles. Can someone stop me cause I can’t??? Lol.

I am learning to calm the waters when needed, though, with God’s grace…

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with my counselor and telling her my fear of being “too much” for people. And she showed me her bracelet. It said:

SHINE.

And I knew, THAT would be my next tattoo if I should decide to get another. I would love to have that word imprinted on my wrist so each day I would remember that it’s okay to shine.

The last few days I’ve been adding the phrase “Shine brightly!” to my correspondence.

Today, the phrase “Be bright, not basic!” popped into my head and I imprinted it on a fun pic before realizing that THIS, THIS!!! was going to be my tagline as I ventured into writing empowering girl lit.

I want us all to shine and be the brightest we can be.

No hiding under a bushel.

Be kind, considerate, and sensitive to the struggles of others, but allow yourself to shine brightly. When you do, you will attract people who appreciate your light and who want to be near it.

The right man (or woman, for you guys reading this blog) will love your brightness and won’t try to dampen it. This goes for friendships, too.

To go along with this story, today I decided to ban two words from my vocabulary of self: “awkward” and “intense.”

While these words might not mean anything to someone else, I use them all the time in a negative way. I say on a regular basis how intense I am or how awkward I am. While making fun of myself to get a laugh is not always bad, I had an epiphany yesterday after I explained for the thousandth time how awkward I have become, how working from home and living alone have turned me into an awkward person socially. Later, I went downstairs to chat with a neighbor and found myself apologizing for being intense.

As I lay in bed later that night, I pondered how often I speak these words over my life and how, really, they aren’t true. I mean, we all have awkward moments, but I ran my own business, made phone calls to corporate business dudes (yeah, maybe with beating heart sometimes, but I was doing it!), and had a good number of friends. And as far as being intense, God had made me a deep thinker, an expressive girl—he had made me this way so I could write and speak and encourage. So I decided to ban the word “awkward” and change “intense” to “deep thinker and expressive.”

Take that, bad vocabulary words! I’m snuffing you out! (Get it? Snuffing out the candle? Snuffing out the bad vocabulary words?) 🙂

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

—Matthew 5:14–16

For You:

  • Do you find yourself speaking certain words over your life time and time again? And not in a positive way? Identify them, and then stop and replace each of them with a more positive word. So often what we perceive as weaknesses are really our greatest strengths, though we may have to learn to harness them.
  • Do you find yourself dimming around certain people? Why is this? Take some time to reflect or journal about this and how you can begin to ease into being yourself around this person, or whether this relationship is really a healthy one for you to be in.
  • And what makes you “you”? Take a few minutes to make a list of your positive qualities—what makes you the amazing, unique person you are. A high school friend and I used to end every conversation with three things we liked about each other. Why not try this with a friend?

SHINE BRIGHTLY!!!

 

 

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10 comments

  1. Andrea, your light shines through your words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for helping us to see ourselves through the lenses of God’s love!

    P.S. You are perfect. Never change.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like your suggestions at the end. To expand on #3, years ago, I made a self-esteem collage from magazine pictures and family photos about what makes me, me and the constants that have always been there for me. It’s framed and still hanging on my wall.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was first impressed with the way you pre-advertised this on Twitter. Then, as I read it, I was so thankful to hear the lesson you have gained about your own value. It has bothered me when you put yourself down before, and I’m glad God broke through the fog to show you how destructive that was to your self image. Can I hold you to those word bans? 😉
    You made me think about another wordy person we know and how I have felt about that wordings and what I have said about it. Perhaps that was part of God’s design for that person too. You have given me much to think about. Thank you;-)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely Andrea. Just lovely. You are a beautiful diamond in the rough…don’t you dare dim that light ever again😊! What you’re doing here is important!!!! Xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

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