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  • Writer's pictureJessica Eaves Mathews

You are allowed

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. ~ The Talmud

We are all made up of many sides - may facets - many personalities.

As a person who is building several brands, as well as a teenager, and myself (continually trying to grow and evolve as a human being and a spiritual being), I find it almost feeling like I am a schizophrenic. As bad news hits hard and almost hourly, from one moment to the next, I seem to feel the entire range of human emotion. It creates a sort of emotional and energetic whiplash. And it hurts and it leaves me weary and exhausted.

And there are days I feel like I just don’t want to pay attention to the bad news any longer.

I’ve also had well-intended friends and colleagues tell me that focusing on it at all is hurting my brand. I call bull-shit on that one, I will tell you why right now.

Look - we are all citizens of this planet, and locked into the journey of humanity, whether we enjoy that trip or our location or not. And if you try to artificially avoid feeling the range of human emotion, you are going to give yourself even bigger problems because you cannot suppress strong feelings, fears and worries for long without them coming out sideways.

Here is the deal. You don’t have to be just one thing. You don’t have to be one-dimensional.

You are allowed to be a beautiful, complicated, messy, colorful, contradictory tapestry of self.

You are allowed to be passionate about things others feel are silly.

You are allowed to be angry about things that others think are acceptable.

You are allowed to divide your time between frivolous, fun pursuits, and moments of action and significance.

You are allowed to express the entirety of YOU every day of your life and in your business.

Stop worrying about what others think. Stop worrying about how many likes you will get on Facebook, or how many Instagram followers you will lose if you are being authentic. Stop worrying that you will lose customers or sales if you speak your truth.

The incredible power of technology that has bridged the miles and the gaps among us in the human race has done wondrous things for our world. But it also has created new forms of anxiety, fear and self-censorship.

Social media is a tool. Nothing more. Use it as one to express who you are without apology. Use it also to open your mind to other points of view, and to be a force of good in the world.

It starts with you. And me. Drop the judgment of yourself, first, and then drop your judgment of others next. Speak out against hate and intolerance, but focus on love. Love is always the answer.

And no, I can’t personally love members of our current administration in DC or members of Congress, for example. I do believe there are people in the world hell-bent on doing harm to others and to extracting as much wealth and power as they can from their positions, regardless of who it hurts. That makes me angry. And I will speak out against it. And I will take action against it.

But I will also measure my speech with love, meaning I will not spew hatred or intolerance about any individual person, but I will call them out for their bad acts every day of the week.

And, I will share silly things, like videos of our horses and dogs, photos of our trips, and funny memes.

And I will also work to build brands that I care deeply about, both to support my little family financially, and to also help improve the lives of the people I serve through my businesses.

And I will strive to be of service. I am determined to leave the world a better place than I found it.

I am not just one thing. And neither are you.

Speak out, stand up, preach, rant, act. And also love, serve, work, sweat, sing, dance, believe, pray or meditate, play, laugh, hope, dream and seek joy.

Every day we are alive is a gift, and those of us who want to leave the world a better place out number those who don’t. So don’t lose yourself in the fight against injustice, but don’t give up the fight either. You are not required to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

Most importantly, be 100% you in all things. And see what magic and positive change you create.


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