Ladylikeness 10: Blinded by the Limelight


"Ladies shine the limelight on others." 

Make sure you get my good side.  

They come with huge smiles. And wide eyes. They show up with hope and anticipation. They walk down the red carpet, struggling with each step, if they must, toward an evening of celebrating them. This is their Night To Shine. 

Every year, the Tim Tebow Foundation joins with 665 churches in 24 countries and 50 states to bring the limelight to more than 200,000 often forgotten people - those with special needs.

It's a prom only for them.

It's a night simply to be accepted. 

It's their moment to be seen.  

And who doesn't want to be seen? 

Right now, we're in a precarious position in our culture. We've made fame, recognition, and celebrity the ultimate achievement. Success is success when everyone knows about it. 

So, we build our social media platform. We strategize posts. We plan Instagram photos and funny Tweets. We may even go through life's activities with a second objective in mind: how can I make this into a popular post? 

It's not that getting recognition is wrong. Or that applause should be shunned. Everyone wants their uniqueness acknowledged at some point. The tricky part is how quickly the enjoyment of receiving recognition can turn into an overpowering need. Even an obsession. And how determined we are to pretend otherwise. 

Recognition is a fire and fire always burns. But, most of the time, we're acting as if we're immune, while striking matches on our forehead. 

Ladies never pretend they're impervious to the lure of attention. They're human, too. They know recognition, even an innocuous social media following, can tempt them to want more. And then the cycle begins. They never lose sight of the fact the limelight can create an unquenchable thirst no follower count can quench. 

It isn't about avoidance; it's about awareness. You can't prepare for danger without believing it's possible. 

That's why Ladies step into and out of the limelight cautiously, while always keeping their eyes trained on the world outside of themselves.

There will always be people, swallowed by the shadows, that desperately need to be seen. We could help. We could be the ones to finally look them in the eye. We could make an impact on a person that could last a lifetime. But, we won't see them either if the light is always in our eyes.

How To Put This Truth Into Action

Focusing on promoting ourselves could reap amazing rewards. Get a social media following big enough and doors start flying open. Not to mention having the ability to impact more with our words, passions, and insight. 

That's not a bad thing at all. Not in and of itself. In fact, I'm doing that very thing right now. 

The negative is the self-focused, me-central, desperate-for-more-attention mindset that self-promotion can create. And, once created, swallow us whole.

So, as a reminder for us to never become too romanced by the appeal of the limelight, here's a glimpse into the beauty of what's possible when we focus outside of ourselves: