Express Yourself

Often for those around me, not knowing my opinions on something is like trying to ignore the butts in a twerk video.

I also don’t have a problem repeating it five different ways until you get it, either.

By the way, I’m also totally right.

This hubris is most likely why I’m drawn to the academy (I love me a good soapbox), blogging (self-indulge much?), and public speaking (everyone look at me!).

Not surprisingly, it’s taken me a few years to arrive at the fact that this might not always be a good thing. And yet I still don’t really know how to shut my mouth.

This personality trait has gotten me in a bit of hot water in some work/relationship/public situations, but if I’m really honest I wouldn’t change it.

However, the difficult growth I’ve experienced and been exposed to – whether by my friends, family, or clients who find themselves homeless, abused, new arrivals in a strange country, or imprisoned – have all forced me to work on the opposite side of the coin: forgiveness and listening.

To value the interchange I am allowed to have with others when they choose to share their deepest convictions and most difficult times with me. To not only provide forgiveness and understanding to them, but to ask for it when I inevitably stick my stinky foot in my too-large mouth.

To remind myself again and again to really listen and respond thoughtfully – even if I completely disagree.

To provide the people I encounter with the grace that I have so often been offered in my most challenging times.

But, no matter what, I will always express myself.

[As a special bonus – my favorite “Express Yourself” creation; one of the only visual depictions of New Orleans that actually feels a lot like what I did when living there. Fair warning: Butts. Lots. Of. Butts.]

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My creation for “Express Yourself,” today’s Daily Post Challenge. Other participants include:

5 thoughts on “Express Yourself

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