We are but a shiny penny on a broken sidewalk.
We, like the penny, have two sides. We one minute sit tall and proud with a good head on our shoulders, bringing luck to the world, yet, in the next, we are tails up, wishing people bad luck and showing our butts.
Unfortunately, one side does not and can not exist without the other, yet it’s the in-between that matters; what happens between those two sides shows who we really are. Unfortunately, it is generally the middle that hardly anyone stops long enough to see.
Some people value the penny; others just walk by or throw it away. Same as us. Some people value us, and others only see one side or the other and make a judgment on the spot, on the surface level of a moment that may or may not last more than one second in time…. yet, because of one moment ignore the other millions of seconds where the other side is shining.
Which one is on the right side? Neither. We can not have one without the other. Yes, we should be heads up and hearts out all the time, but that is impossible without the other side, setting boundaries, being our foundation to stand tall upon. Giving us the space to build a bigger, more all-encompassing middle that our heads and hards can rise up upon and shine goodness out into the world.
I recently spent three/fourths of a year with someone who, from afar and out in public, showed the brightest, shiniest, heads up, the luckiest penny in the world… and behind closed doors, the exact opposite. No one knew the penny was turned around the other 98% of the time. They couldn’t see the abuse, the evil, the meanness, and manipulations happening behind the scenes because all they ever saw was a very shiny penny flipped right side up. Hard to believe there’s a dark side.
But there is, there always is in each of us. We get to choose which sideshows at all times.
Do you know someone like this in your life? Are you one? Don’t worry, we all are, to some extent, some more than others.
Which side of the penny we are showing at any given time is our choice and our choice alone. No matter which side is coming at us, we have the choice to shine whichever side back.
Are you one side at home and another in public? How can we use both sides to our advantage, merging the top, middle, and bottom to become one? Using each part for us, not allowing it to work against us.
When people show their tails, they can certainly make us want to flip our pennies to match and fight theirs. When we do, they win. NO one is a winner in war. When they cause us to fight back, they cause us to become one of them, and it takes a real effort to keep our head and heart showing in these trying times, instead of our tails joining in the war.
We can not control which side of the penny others choose to shine, but we can choose our own. We can also choose which side of the penny we allow others to shine towards us. We have the right to walk away and not allow people to share their tail side with us. It reminds them that if they want to be near us, that they had better flip over. This is where your boundaries step up and help you fill your life with good, not bad. Our lives will always be filled with something; let’s choose what. Choose what brings you joy, not pain. Love, not hate. Compassion, not anger.
We also should take the lesson in knowing that when we see someone shining one side of the penny, we shouldn’t make a rash judgment on them, nor even have an opinion at all; we should instead wait and watch. Eventually, the other side of the penny will show on every single one of us, including us.
We should, instead of judging someone from showing one side or the other seek the middle, seek the in-between, the real person. This is where the real beauty lies, in the innards, in the guts, in the spaces in between the good and bad, the wrong and right, the highs and lows—the middle between the extremes, the one between heated conversations and saving the world.
The thing is, when we seek the middle, we learn that we are not that different at all; outside, we may all look almost the same, but with experiences in life, we all get a little tarnished, dented, scratched, faded, and bruised on the surface. Still, on the inside, we are a strong, beautiful mixture of the lessons, the love, the everything in between that makes us whole, that helps us hold the outside out.
Everyone has edges, let’s all work harder to look deeper and love the in-between. ❤️