"Let your light so shine before men so that others may see your good works, and glorify your Father who art in Heaven"
In a beautifully raw post titled, A Reflection, Alicia Keys shares her decision to stop hiding and to fully embrace herself. She writes,
"For as long as I can remember, I’ve hidden myself. It might have started in school when I realized that I caught on to things a little quicker, and teachers started to show slight favor to me, or use me as an example. I remember feeling like my friends would make fun of me or look at me as if I was different from them and so… I started hiding. Not intentionally, I didn’t mean to, but I did. Little pieces at a time."
Afraid to stand out or bring too much attention to herself, Alicia Keys decided to hide in order to fit in, a practice so many succumb to hoping to avoid criticism, envy or worse.
"I became comfortable hiding, my intelligence, my physical appearance, my truths, my thoughts, myself."
Hiding impacted Alicia as an artist and in the way she chose to express herself through her clothing choices,
"I chose the baggy jeans and timbs, I chose the ponytail and hat, I chose no makeup, no bright color lipstick or pretty dresses. I chose to hide. Pieces at a time. Less trouble that way."
She describes the moment when she experienced the epiphany to fully embrace herself and let the caged bird free,
"And just the other day it hit me! OMG! Alicia!!! Why are you choosing to be that person?? That is so old and outdated!! STOP!!
You are allowed to be smart
You are allowed to be beautiful
You are allowed to be radical and have strong thoughts that others might not agree with
You are allowed to be tough
You are allowed to be sexy
You are allowed to be bold
You are allowed to be shapely
You are allowed to be kind
You are allowed to be yourself!!"
You can read the entire post on Alicia Keys' Website.
Have you ever felt the need to hide your talents and gifts to make other people comfortable? Do you relate to Alicia's post?