They say a star shines brightest before its collapse. And, tonight, I see through the facade your nova creates. While the world admires your illuminated presence, the exhaustion in your eyes reveals the limits to your energy. For they don’t flicker with the enthusiasm they once did. Maybe, that’s because you forgot what fuels the nuclear reactions within your core.
Somewhere in the past few years, you began to assess your self-worth through the appraisals of others. And, while you thought you had a strong grasp of supply, you inadvertently discounted your own value by making yourself too available. You devalued your own brand.
That’s because you sought attention from those who hadn’t earned yours. You failed to realize that you can’t be everything to everyone. Further, you saw that inability as a flaw. You perceived this shortcoming as an indication that you couldn’t be anything to anyone. But, rather than reevaluating your game plan, you pursued the same course more aggressively.
You stopped saying ‘no,’ but accepted it as an answer a lot more. You gave up moments that matter in favor of the promise of moments never realized. You lost sleep. You lost friends. You lost confidence. You found value in the buzz of a text message. You saw beauty in over-filtered photos. You lived in a limbo, waiting for validation from others.
Right now, you are spending your life trying to live in a way that appeases each person you meet. You need to learn that this isn’t possible. Somewhere along your path, the perfectionist inside you convinced you it was. Through that, she created an insecurity that grows ever stronger as you worry about letting another down. An insecurity so strong that it makes you willing to sacrifice your own prospering.
The path she’s placed you on allows others to suck your energy dry, leaving you to fuse all of the hydrogen in your core.
By living your life for the other, while failing to care for yourself, you’re sure to fade into a black hole. You’ve burnt to brightly to allow yourself to fade into nothingness. You’ve burnt to brightly to collapse in on yourself.
You used to know that life is what happened beyond the confines of the anxious shell you currently inhabit. You knew that it could be felt in the evening runs that filled your lungs with air. It could be heard in the grace notes that perfected your proficiently practiced piano piece. It could be seen in smiles shared with hometown friends and family over summer ice cream cones.
Those are the moments that sustain your energy – the moments so filled passion, energy, and happiness that they illuminate the lives of all touched by them.
The people who belong in your life will be drawn to that kind of energy. The people who belong in your life will help sustain that energy. The people who belong in your life will know you deserve that energy.
Even if it feels like your star has already faded beyond repair, remember that new stars derive themselves by picking up the debris of the old and pulling it together.
Delete the app, turn off the phone, close the computer. Go outside. Breathe deeply as you feel each step of your running stride. Create music. Enjoy the reverberating sound echoing after each note you play. Visit friends. Smile as you create shared memories to bring happiness in years to come.
Reignite the energy that made you who you are today. Once you start taking care of yourself, you’ll shine brighter than you ever have before. That projection of your inner light is what you owe the world around you. That, and absolutely nothing else.