I started blogging in college. I wrote nearly every day and the blog was called “Sunshine or something like it.” At the time my Myspace tagline was “Niko Rae” and I liked to think of my self as something like a ray of sunshine…hence the name. Every two years or so I look up the old blog and read through my posts. I’m reminded of all of the dusty crusty boys I had crushes on and the college nights seemed unforgettable that have since been washed away through the years. I’m flooded with memories of a very honest version of me, one that lacked tact but was fiercely authentic.
I studied abroad in 2011 and started a new blog. My plan was to write about all of the amazing cities that I traveled to and all of the adventures that I was having. A few weeks in to the trip I realized that I didn’t have the bandwidth to blog weekly, journal daily and still be fully immersed in the experience. I decided that writing in my journal daily and soaking up each day was more important and the new blog ended just as fast as it began.
Writing and sharing my thoughts with the world became an after thought and a fond memory to me for about two years until I stumbled upon a blog post by a writer named Jon Acuff. The post was titled “The End” and the last line has quite literally changed the trajectory of my thoughts and consequently my life.
“Give the grave only bones.”
The sentence before it reads “Arrive empty to the grave, having given all you were given, stewarded all you were tasked with.” Heavy stuff.
I can’t remember where I was when I read it or how I even came across the post but I’ll never be able to forget how it made me feel. It made me feel like I had a responsibility to do more, to say more, to write more…because if I didn’t all that was inside of me would go to the grave. All of it.
I believe that we all have gifts and talents that are unique to us. Things that God has instilled in us that we are given the task of cultivating and developing so that we can then use them to make the world a better place. A place with more peace, more joy, more unity and definitely more love.
One of the gifts that God has given me is a gift for words. I’m a great writer. I have a gift for putting words together in a way that brings ideas and theories to life and conveys my feelings and thoughts in a clear and easy to understand way. I haven’t always been a great writer but after 10 years of dedication and persistence and intentionally trying to improve my gift, it’s a skill that I stand behind proudly.
Give the grave only bones.
It’s a phrase that I’ve had to repeat to myself a lot lately. The last 5 months I’ve only posted 1 blog and I think the reason behind it is that I’ve let fear and anxiety keep me from doing what I love. I’ve let it convince me that I’m not well thought out, that I don’t have good things to say and that no one cares about what I think. Even if all of those things were true it’s not a reason for me to stop doing something that brings me so much joy.
Give the grave only bones.
We have to stop living small. We have to stop letting self doubt keep us from pursuing the things that make us feel alive. We have to stop letting the distractions of social media and negativity keep us from pouring in to our talents and gifts.
We have to give all that we have to the world. Every ounce of our talents and our love. Every drop of our joy and our energy…we have to give it all. So that when we die people aren’t crying over our graves out of sorrow but rather out of gladness.
Gladness because they know that we gave it all, every last bit of what was inside of us to the world and the only thing that they’re burying is our bones.