Are you a sparkly person? Do you know what I mean by that? I mean someone whose presence brightens the space that they inhabit, or someone who helps make the world a little brighter wherever they go. Does that describe you or someone you know?
When I think of this concept there are a number of friends of mine who spring to mind. Being sparkly is also a description that has been attached by others to me. I tend to smile and laugh a lot, I used to wear a sparkly lanyard with my work security pass and I also possess not one, but two pairs of light up, sparkly Skecher runners (a distinct advantage of having small feet).
While being described as sparkly may sound like a good thing it can also be a bit of a burden. There are times in my life when I don’t quite feel like bringing a bit of brightness into a situation. It may not be anything super significant – I may be tired or run down or missing my dad – but the amount of comments I receive about me not being ‘quite like myself’ almost compels me to pretend to be bright and sparkly, which can have a more damaging effect on my wellbeing. It takes a significant amount of energy to shine when you don’t feel like shining, all because others expect it of you.
I also used to believe that being the joy bringer in a situation was a negative trait, that it spoke of a lack of maturity and silliness and worried about what people thought of my intelligence. For this reason I fell into the trap of ‘dialling down’ my brightness in certain situations to try to accommodate what I believed to be for the comfort of others. Again, this is another drain on emotional resources and is a huge cost when you re spending any time being inauthentic.
That being said, on the whole I like to be the positive one in the situation, the glass-half-full kind of person. This is not something I conjure up or manufacture, it just seems to bubble up from within. Jesus spoke about not hiding your light under a basket, but shining it brightly for all to see. (Luke chapter 8 verse 16) In the darkness even the smallest light brings relief.
I have had some signs at my office desk that read, “You were born to sparkle”, “Never dull your own sparkle” and, “Be happy, be bright, be you”, but my favourite would be, “Leave a little sparkle wherever you go.” God made me to be a sparkly person, so I need to lean into that aspect of who I am created to be and to shine well.
The gifted poet Maya Angelou put it like this: “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” It doesn’t take much to bring some joy and light to another. Not frivolous and disrespectful, but light and caring and sensitive. I like to think of it as leaving someone better than when you found them.
Our world needs more sparkly people so why don’t you aim to shine well with those you spend time with this week. Leave a little sparkle wherever you go. Or if you prefer … be a rainbow.