Have you ever come across a touch-me-not plant? And have you touched it and observed its leaves shrivel up and collapse? When I was little, we spent our summer vacations in Kerala and the sides of the mud road from my grandparents’ house to the main road were full of touch-me-not plants. The walk to the main road took longer than usual because we (the kids) had to step on every plant along the path. We took delight in watching the leaves close up and collapse.
Being sensitive in a harsh world is kind of like that. Sometimes you just want to curl up and not face the world at all. Every intrusive and unkind word makes you want to shrivel and shrink and hide. But now, more than ever, empathy, softness, and compassion are sorely needed in this world. People are hurting and the cut-throat ways of the past won’t work anymore.
So stop shrinking and dimming your light to escape the hurt and pain. Expand and shine brighter instead. Your beautiful light is so strong that it can dispel all darkness and pain. It can uplift and kindle hope in the hearts of those who despair. You are a divine instrument, so much more powerful than you know.
Now instead of a shrinking violet or a touch-me-not, imagine me prodding a cobra that is quietly slithering past me. Do you think it will scurry away and hide? No! It’s more likely to raise its glistening hood and hiss in my direction. The tiny head that was on the ground transforms into a huge hood with golden unmistakable markings, swaying menacingly from side to side. Somehow a cobra doesn’t make a good analogy.
How about a peacock? No, I don’t want you to imagine me prodding and poking a peacock till it gets provoked. But imagine storm clouds and darkness making an entrance and blotting out the light in said peacock’s environs. Does the peacock cower in fear and run helter-skelter seeking shelter from the rain? Of course not! It spreads out its luxuriant plumage and struts about in glee. It expands all of its glorious tail feathers and puts on a show.
Be like the peacock and maybe even the cobra if you must, especially if you are surrounded by bullies. Don’t hide. Stand tall and proud. What you have to offer to the world is important and cannot remain under wraps anymore.
As a reformed escape artist, this post has been hard for me to write. I never was one to face my fears. I preferred to run away or escape from any unpleasantness. But there is only so much you can run and after that you run out of options. In facing your fears, some sort of solution arises and it releases you from its clutches.
I hope this post will encourage you to open up and expand instead of shrinking to make others comfortable.