I don’t know if it’s harder to know that we are not perfect or if it’s harder to know that we are also more magnificent than we could ever quantify.
Which is scarier?
Which is more uncomfortable? What is vanity?
What is pride?
Could we be in a dysfunctional relationship with how proud we are of how broken we are?
I have had this crazy relationship with all of this. I bet you have too. I hop between my fear of disappointing others, my fear of impressing others and my fear of being labeled as any ONE thing. I want to be lots of things!
So I set out to prove myself. But not TO MYSELF, to others. Ugh.
I have been a millionaire a couple of times. The first time, I was only 27 years old. The thing that shocked me about it most was how it didn’t fix everything.
I have 2 books published with Simon & Schuster and hundreds of products I’ve developed and designed and licensed to other companies. I have won awards from the US Chamber of Commerce, The National Association for Women Business Owners, The Craft and Hobby Association and BEST NEW PRODUCT from several magazines.
I’ve self-published more than 25 books and written more than 50 courses. I have designed and manufactured THOUSANDS of products for my own companies.
I have had an epic bikini body. I’ve had a perfect marriage. I’ve had a house full of perfect and beautiful children. I’ve driven beautiful cars and lived in beautiful homes.
And none of it ever made me feel like I was enough. None of it led to me seeing my magnificence for any sustained period of time.
Having most of that stuff stripped from me, however, did the trick.
It started almost 2 years ago when a majority of my life’s work got deleted from the internet. And my “following” that was in the hundreds of thousands. And my writing and my inspirational quotes and photos that I’d posted or had been tagged in that showed the amazing places I’d been, the things I’d done and who I was with. I didn’t even have my email list anymore to go find my people.
Suddenly, I was a weird kind of lost where I didn’t know how to be found.
Suddenly, I had no proof that I was “somebody.” Or that I did “something.”
And worst of all, suddenly, I was not in my own community anymore. There was no way for me to find them and no way for them to find me. So…again, I told myself stories that got me off my own Soul Road. And they were NOT stories of the magnificence that is our birthright. They were deadly stories.
I’ve talked about this experience a bit on other roads but this time I want to tell you what finally showed me where I fit, who I am and that every single one of us is absolutely magnificent . . . even me.
It was Lillie, the little old one-eyed dog who became not just a true friend to me, but one of my greatest teachers.
Ugh, I cry as I write this because she died about a month ago. As it turned out, only Marq and I were at the ranch when she died. So I got to bundle her up in a blanket and hold her until she took her last breath. Marq and I buried her together and surrounded her with flowers from the field before we covered her with earth. She was old and crippled and for a few days she kept hiding and sleeping. We couldn’t find her. Then when we did find her, she was just acting so strange, and we knew she getting ready to cross over the rainbow bridge into doggie heaven.
I miss her. But I want to tell you about the 2 summers I got to spend with her.
Lillie was little, but not as little as she was expected to be. When Kami got her, she thought she was going to be teacup size and that she could keep her in her purse. Well Lillie grew and she grew and she grew and she grew. She loved to eat, and she had really short legs. So she was a very roly-poly old gal. She was old so she had arthritis or something that made her a bit crippled. She waddled when she walked or ran and she had the face of an Ewok.
And then she lost her eye.
So you might think that she’d lose her zest for life, but man SHE DID NOT. Lillie was THE HAPPIEST and MOST GRATEFUL creature I think I have ever experienced. She was constantly wagging her tail and looking at you excitedly with her one good eye. It’s as if she always expected something magical to happen. And so it did. Because she was so magical. She was just SO HAPPY and SO EXCITED about EVERYTHING.
Every morning when I came out of the trailer, she would be waiting next to my step. It was the most wonderful feeling to have someone waiting for me who was so happy to see me. Admittedly, it’s probably because I always gave her doggie treats and I’d rub her belly. In fact, when she’d see me she’d often roll over on her back because she knew I’d kneel down or sit on the ground and rub her belly.
So we had a nice relationship. But I learned the most from her by just watching her.
She was small and mighty but she held her own with the bigger creatures, albeit her lost eye that was the result of a run-in with a predator. She made friends with any dog or cat that came to the ranch as if she just assumed they knew how magnificent she was. She MADE THE MOST OF HER ONE BEAUTIFUL LIFE with her one eye and her waddly walk and her crippled features . . . as if she was saying, “what I have is just perfect!”
SHE. WAS. MAGNIFICENT.
And I’ve tried to figure out what it was that made everyone fall in love with her, and it was this: She was gonna be happy and love her life no matter who liked her, no matter what happened to her and no matter how many eyes she ended up with. Her love for life made her magnificent. She knew she belonged and she didn’t care if you knew or not.
Part of her magnificence was that she waddled around like she was the MOST magnificent creature that had ever been created.
And it started to rub off on me. Here I was, living in an old RV and having lost all of the things that I thought gave me a chance at being magnificent and she would wait outside my little aluminum door as if it were Buckingham Palace. She’d wag her tail and breathe excitedly at me as if I were the Queen herself. She knew she was magnificent and she treated me like I was magnificent.
There wasn’t anything weird about it. No one was trying to cut anyone else down who were acting “too big for their britches” and needing to be put back into their place. It was just two battle-worn gals being magnificent together.
Sometimes it’s easier to be broken, or to focus on our missteps, our “sins” and our brokenness than it is to claim our magnificence. We live in a world that has a scorecard for such things. We need to burn that damned scorecard. Magnificence is our birthright and to make qualifiers for it would be like scoring the starry sky.
Every living thing is magnificent. People step on magnificent stuff all the time, just because it’s on the ground. Some of the most magnificent things are in the most unlikely places.
Nothing is less magnificent than anything else. We too often use the world’s scorecard and put ourselves in the box where we feel most comfortable…less magnificent, more magnificent – and then we look for proof that others are putting us there….or we even try to get others to put us there……but really , we are the one who put us there and we are the only one who can take us out of there.
Lillie taught me to take myself out of those kinds of boxes. She taught me to see my magnificence just by being magnificent herself..
That’s the great lesson I learned on The Road Where I/They Saw My Magnificence.
I learned that even though I have done some pretty cool things like we all have, and I have had some absolutely disastrous failures, none of it has anything to do with how magnificent I am. None of it. None of it can add and none of it can take it away.
I learned that I want to keep trying new things and dreaming new dreams and even doing epic things again, but for different reasons. I might even be a millionaire again someday but I don’t need to pay for my place in the human family and neither do you. I don’t need to buy my magnificence and neither do you. I don’t need to prove myself. I was born proven. So were you.
So we get to have experiences of all sorts. And it is AWESOME! Sometimes we are in a skyscraper in New York City and sometimes we are on the other end of a shovel, burying our beautiful canine friend in the middle of the desert mountains, with not much to our name but a whole lot in our heart. All of it is magnificent.
There are not prerequisite titles to go with being magnificent. Titles are not my thing anyway, so I’m so relieved to know this. But we have to be brave enough to be label-less and boxless too. No piles to sort each other into, no labels and no boxes. You just get to be magnificent and free, like Lillie.
And we get to be all the kinds of magnificent. The bright and sparkly kind, and the sad and grieving kind. You are so magnificent when you are being magnificent. You have so many facets and you are pretty darn good at all of them. Which one feels best today? Which one feels truest today? Which one serves your life best today? All of them are part of you and all of them are magnificent and all of them yield different results in your life. The joy, the sorrow, the awesomeness, the need for rest, the quiet times, the rowdy times, the times when you’re surrounded by others and the times when you’re very much alone.
There are infinite possibilities inside of our magnificence and so there are infinite combinations. It’s just a big experiment of combining and experimenting with your gifts and your traits and your circumstances. Trying every good thing. Learning as much as you can. Experiencing as many good things as you can. All of it has different results and all of it is magnificent. Even when it’s not.
And there’s nothing you have to do to earn your joy and your peace. It just comes naturally when you stay true to your own path, when you realize how very much there is to be grateful for and when you burn that dang scorecard.
It’s been more than 2 years since I’ve had a dishwasher, or a washer and dryer, or a car. I’m currently wearing a t-shirt from Walmart and thrifted jeans. I haven’t won any awards in a really long time. I haven’t made another million and I don’t know if I ever will. My hands are definitely not manicured but are almost always dirty from making and cleaning up creative messes. I am one of the messes I’m cleaning up. But I have never felt so magnificent.
So, magnificent soul,
How has your definition of magnificence changed?
What unnecessary things have you done in the past to try to prove your magnificence?
I love you. Tomorrow I’m going to tell you what I learned on The Road Where I Got Left Behind
See you there.