The other day as we were walking our idolized canine family member Chloe, I spotted this tuft of St. Augustine grass that had pushed its way through the cement. It looked just like one of those motivational posters of courage, with a daisy bursting its way through the asphalt.
But, this time it was different, because it wasn’t a staged inspirational photo. It was a few pieces of grass that had managed, against the odds, to break through asphalt and I was looking at them with my own eyes.
Because Chloe stops for no one, we walked briskly by, but it stuck with me. As the day rolled along, I kept seeing the proud little tuft of grass in my mind. It spoke to me enough times that finally, I walked back alone with my cell phone and took its photo.
The grass and Violet
The image of this small tuft of grass reaching through the solid surface really mattered to me. It felt symbolic of Violet the Hugging Octopus.
This is exactly how Violet presented herself to me when I started writing about her. She was unlike anything I had ever been, she was unabashedly unafraid. Violet was confident being herself, happy to play by herself or to love herself. She expressed herself to me as courageous enough to stand out (willing to love herself) in a sea of friends that had never experienced that before.
She pushed her way through the metaphorical cement as if to say, ” This is what’s up. I’ve found the way to be confident and happy. The exciting thing is that you can have it too and I’ll show you how”. I admire Violet’s courage and wrote her as she came to me in this self assured fashion. Self-assurance is something that I struggle to find at times.
This had been one of those times. The E-book version of Violet the Hugging Octopus had just recently been released on Amazon and I was feeling very exposed, afraid of what others would think of Violet (and me). And then, there it was, the little tuft of grass. It was a reminder to me that I too can be courageous like Violet.
Let Yourself Grow
It can feel easier and safer to blend in. In contrast, it can feel scary to stand out or to muster the courage to be ourselves in a world where we are encouraged to blend in. But here’s the thing, we are all here to be our most amazing and individual selves. We are here to stand out, to share our unique talents and to shine in completely different ways. Allowing this may take courage, it will certainly take practice, but the exciting thing is that we can all do it.
The next time you feel anxious about being yourself or standing out, take a deep breathe, give yourself a hug (mental or actual) and allow yourself to push through the metaphorical cement. Remind yourself that you are here to be the fullest expression of your crazy, awesome, individual self. Let yourself grow and empower yourself to feel confident like Violet because you are brave, you are valuable and you are perfectly perfect just as you are.