Sisters are a funny thing. Growing up with a sibling, living out of each others pockets. You really get to know all sides of a person: what makes them tick, what buttons to push when you want to get a rise out of them; what quote from some silly movie will get a laugh.
My sister often had moments of “Just Jen”. Oh, that’s “Just Jen”. She was a bumble foot and would trip over her own feet walking down the street. “That’s Just Jen”. She moved to Melbourne and when she came home for visits, she’d miss her flight and have to rebook it – “that’s Just Jen”. She wouldn’t reply to calls or texts, and then have a story around cracking her screen or losing the phone – again, “Just Jen”.
As annoying as some of these Jen-isms were, her empathy and her capacity to care for others shone as her most endearing qualities. She was the soft, affectionate sister. Sensitive and artistic. Her ability to draw was a gift she left untapped. There didn’t seem to be enough time for it between work and relationships and life.
And so why am I telling you all this? Why, when I have your attention for a very finite amount of time do I choose Jen’s adorable goofiness and artistic qualities?
Because this is what I miss most. These are the sides of her that seemed to go un-nurtured – by her. I talk about them because I believe her self-worth and her self-care were tied up in these areas. She absolutely, positively loved drawing. She had sketch books and scraps of paper with half-finished drawings all over her living room. But there was never enough time to develop this talent. It wasn’t a priority.
She could make others shine simply by listening to their story, and giving them space to be themselves. But she couldn’t shine that same light on herself.
I’d like to start a movement. I’d like to have Jen’s light live through us. Where she wasn’t able to make time for self-care, we will make it a priority. By carving out time for our passions.
What is something in your life that makes you shine?
Go with Grace. and if that’s not an option yet, make space for Grace. Make space to allow your natural gifts to shine through.
“I do not understand the mystery of Grace – only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us” – Anne Lamott