In the crisp summer nights I sit in my front yard to admire the stars. The sheer magnificence of the heavens reminds me that I am an insignificant passenger in time and space. I know I am breathing the very air that the dinosaurs breathed, the very air that some other conscious being, long after I am gone, will breathe and cherish. The knowing that I am a recycled recreation of the trees and animals and microbes that once fought the same battles of life and death, is overwhelming. And I wonder, in the grand scheme of time and space:‘How significant am I’?
But then again, I have been a biochemist and cancer scientist. I have been privy firsthand, to things of amazing beauty. I have witnessed the birth, aging and death of cells under high powered microscopes, manipulated them with chemicals, watched heart cells pulse in rhythm of life on plastic plates. I know that my ‘life’ is a flawlessly synchronized dance of zillions and zillions of perfectly timed biochemical reactions happening in the 37 trillion cells that make ‘me’. And I wonder, in awe of the grand scheme of living that makes me, me: ‘How significant I am!’
In all this sheer contrast of big and small, one absolute truth stands out: There never was, never is, and never will be anyone else that is ME (or YOU). Each one of us- we are unique- we are special. The universe has conspired to create us the way we are, exactly as we were meant to be.
How much of our magnificent uniqueness do we allow to shine? How often we get caught up in comparisons, fears, assumptions, stories of ‘should-be’s’ and ‘shouldn’t-haves’, stories of success and failures?
Perhaps the cardinal sin of existence is forgetting to cherish the one thing that makes us special- our uniqueness.
What if we made a commitment to know that our success is never meant to be measured against anyone else’s? What if we resolved to let our unique lights shine bright, whether or not it makes sense to anyone else? What if we choose to stop telling ourselves stories of our limitations, and focus on our uniqueness? What if being authentic was a recipe for our living?
What will it mean for you to be you?