Everybody needs some time to shine, time to be recognized, special, admired. It’s not selfish: it’s human.
Early one Saturday I saw in the local paper that a workshop for blues musicians was scheduled for that very morning. I showed the notice to my husband, who intends to be the world’s next great blues harmonica player. “I’d like to go, “he said, “but I promised I would paint your office.” I assured him that the office could wait and sent him off with my blessing.
He thought I was being selfless and wonderful, but I really wasn’t. You see, I’d had a lot of shine time that week—a couple of career successes, lunch out with five favorite friends, and a massage that had accounted for one, entire, luxurious hour. I was full. When you’re basking in the sun, it’s natural to want those you love to join you there. But if you’re not getting enough of your own shine time, it’s easy to be needy, whiny, and pitiful.
It can get worse than that: the shine-deficient tend to resent other people’s accomplishments and dampen their dreams. Sometimes, they sabotage the potential of even their own children because their need for personal recognition is so seldom met. Parents who want to keep their children from pursuing an art or a sport “because it’s not practical” are in this category. So are those who push their kids toward unrealistic academic or athletic achievements. They’re trying to get some shine secondhand.
For your own benefit as well as for the benefit of those around you, shining regularly is as crucial as bathing regularly. You can get the shine time that’s essential to creating a charmed life in myriad ways. Among them:
- Indulge yourself often in what you do well. If you’re a good swimmer, swim. If you’re a good seamstress, sew.
- Spend time with people who think you’re splendid – and who’ll tell you so.
- Celebrate yourself. Mark the occasions of your life with friends and festivity. Never get too old to have birthday parties.
Victoria Moran is an inspirational and comedic speaker, a spiritual-life coach and the author of the international bestseller Creating a Charmed Life.