Lately I have been thinking a lot about how we can easily bring our very best skills, our very best contributions, our very best selves to the work that we do. So often we get discouraged because we feel underappreciated and under resourced. Of course, some of that is simply because “it’s work.” But other times, if we were honest, we know we are in the wrong place.
Do you remember when you were a child, you learned the story of The Ugly Duckling. Do you remember that story?
An ugly little bird is born in the barnyard. He is abused by his siblings and ignored by his mother. He wanders off and is rescued by a farm woman. While the woman is kind, the cats and the children mistreat him. It takes a while for him to leave. Eventually, as we know, he finds himself at a lake with beautiful swans. He is afraid they may kill him, but instead they embrace him. Why? Because all this time he was himself becoming a beautiful swan.
It’s a story of finding yourself and realizing you are, in fact, beautiful. I am intrigued about the time with the farm woman. She was kind, but it wasn’t the place where he could flourish. It’s easy to stay in a place where we can survive, but not necessarily thrive.
As we celebrate St. Valentine’s Day this week, I hope you take time to celebrate yourself and to ask yourself – am I living a life where I am celebrated. Maybe not every day, but often enough to know that I am in the right place. My first hope is that the answer is yes. My second hope is that if the first answer is no, that you will take courage and begin to look for all the places where you will be appreciated and encouraged.
We’d love to hear from you!