Bearing Your Personal Signature

“Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature.” -Thich Nhat Hanh

I often talk about living your life with intention and purpose. At the very least, I strive for that. This can mean many different things, to different people and that is why diversity is so beautiful.

There is however, one piece that no matter what your calling, your belief, your vision, your life – those are all you. It bears your signature. If you’re willing to pepper those around you with your specific political view or belief system, then own it. If you write about a taboo topic, it doesn’t matter, as long as you own it. If you make a mistake, accept it, apologize and learn from it – it is you.

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Granted, there’s room for change and growth but we often forget that what we do now or in the past, speaks to our surroundings, those around us and our future.

I have a friend whose actions one might call “negative” and “detrimental” to themselves and those around them. It is a habit, that’s hard to break. Nonetheless, they are concerned if I or anyone who knows them, talks about their “said actions.” I’m not talking about spreading rumors or talking behind their back, but simply, just discussing that this is a part of their life, right now.

I wholeheartedly believe that it’s okay to not always be with it, to come undone, to feel your pain and understand those empty spaces are meant to be there, as well as the full ones. So if you are firmly planted in who you are why would want to hide or pretend those negatives parts of your life do not exist, when really, they are at the forefront of your life?

Deep down it could be that they do not feel their life truly resonates with who they want to be, who they really are and do not want to be judged.

I’ve been there. I’ve been ashamed – wishing that I could crawl under the carpet and hide my face. I’ve hurt friends and family that I love through my own selfish, defense mechanism or not thinking before I talk. I’ve taken action, only to realize, it really wasn’t something I should have done. I don’t talk about those moments everyday, but I also don’t tuck them away so they’re completely forgotten. I use them as the catalyst, as fuel, to propel me forward and remember that those moments and mistakes humanize me.

I have learned (and am still learning) that the ego is big and booming. Actions, non-action, words, listening, the way you make people feel all affect who you are and imprint on your signature.

I like a character that is rough around the edges, that has experienced the bitterness and happiness of life, isn’t naive, that listens, gives back, learns to be with their feelings and has loved and loss.

Your signature should be robust, even a little tainted and most importantly, you – through and through.

What pieces of your signature have you been ashamed of? Have you learned to own all that you have done and said in your live?

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