Who We Are Is Our Greatest Gift

JG_PORTRAITS_SELECTS_REFERENCE_089_Karen during our on location session in her home.

I stood in my way for a long time in relationship to my photography career. I was afraid I wasn’t good enough, that I had to reach some unseen level before I shared my work. Even after being championed by a friend for years I still didn’t believe I had what it took. I was convinced what my work wasn’t good enough. I realized what I was actually wondering was, “Am I good enough?” and when I dug further it was really, “Am I enough?”

I think many of us question what it is we give or if what we give is valuable and makes a difference. Especially now with the ever present comparison beast of social media and the tendency to question, “AM I ENOUGH?” it is imperative we see ourselves for who we really are and what we offer. 

In the midst of mourning the loss of 36 young artists to the Oakland warehouse fire I found myself going back to this question of what we each offer.  What is it that we each give effortlessly and does it need to be more than simply showing up as who we are?  As I read accounts from family and friends about their loved ones they tragically lost I saw a little light in all of the darkness and an answer to my question. Everything from their art to their loving kindness was a gift to those who loved them and nothing was too small.  What they gave didn’t need to be modified or bigger, it only needed to be authentic in its giving. They gave exactly what the world needed, which was who they were and and will always be to those who loved then, and this is the best any of us can do.

We touch one another everyday in the deepest ways by offering our truest selves, our gifts, our laughter, a smile, our compassion and our passion.  

There is true power in knowing WHO we are and that WHO WE ARE IS ENOUGH. It is our greatest gift to those around us.

 I believe one of most important responsibilities in this life is to listen to that small voice that drives and encourages us to offer exactly what we are meant to.

So whether it is your laughter, your song, your voice, your passion, your art, your shyness, or your empathy, offer it boldly and without reservation. We need you and who you are.

My thoughts and prayers are with all the beautiful souls who left us on December 2, 2016, Oakland CA.

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