Behind starburst eyes

A borrowed MP3 player, sparkling floors, and a heavy heart

on September 30, 2013

N woke up at 4:56 this morning, I tried to explain it was still night time as it was dark out, but to no avail. He was adamant that it was time to start our day, so start it we did. I figured at least it would give me extra time to get a head start on cleaning the house cause what house with children doesn’t always need cleaning? 😉 To that end, I personally hate cleaning, but accept it needs to be done and find that music helps me to mind doing it less. Only it was 5 o’clock in the morning, I was still very tired and couldn’t remember where I’d put my MP3. So noticing my eldest son’s MP3, I thought “ah-ha! Problem solved” and I borrowed his.

About 30 minutes into cleaning a song came on and made me freeze as the lyrics touched nerves within my heart more sensitive than I’d ever imagined them to be. If I’d heard this song on the radio it most likely wouldn’t have enthralled me the way that it did. But this wasn’t the radio, this was my son’s MP3, so this was a song he had specifically chosen because it resonated with him. The song was “Let Me Be Myself” By: 3 Doors Down. And as I was mopping my kitchen floor I felt a part of my heart shatter all over those shiny tiles.

I’ll share the lyrics here for those that haven’t heard it before”

I guess I just got lost being someone else

I tried to kill the pain, nothing ever helped

I left myself behind somewhere along the way

Hoping to come back around to find myself someday

Lately I’m so tired of waiting for you to say it’s okay

But tell me please, would you one time just let me be myself?

So I can shine with my own light, let me be myself,

Would you let me be myself?

I’ll never find my heart behind someone else

I’ll never see the light of day living in this cell

It’s time to make my way into the world I knew

And then take back all of these times that I gave into you

But lately I’m so tired of waiting for you to say that it’s okay

Tell me please, would you one time let me by myself?

So I can shine with my own light, let me be myself

For a while, if you don’t mind, let me be myself

So I can shine with my own light, let me be myself.

That’s all I’ve ever wanted from this world is to let me be me.

Please would you one time let me be myself?

So I can shine with my own light, let me be myself

Please would you one time let me be myself?

So I can shine with my own light, let me be myself

For a while, if you don’t mind, let me be myself

So I can shine with my own light, let me be myself!

Would you one time, ooh, let me be myself and let me be me?


It hurt to hear those words sung in my ears. It made me insecure and scared. Did he feel like he wasn’t able to be himself? Did he feel that he was constantly forced to pretend to be someone he wasn’t? Where do we draw the line between helping them to understand “socially acceptable” behavior and being their real, true, authentic selves? Did he feel that I did not allow him to shine with his own light? In my quest to help him thrive socially because I assumed that was what everyone wanted (him included) did I push him into being someone he wasn’t just so he’d be more accepted by his peers? Did I make him feel like he wouldn’t be accepted as his authentic self? The question swirled as I mopped ferociously, as if I could scrub away the doubts that perhaps in trying my best to help him, I was making him believe he was stuck in a prison of falsehoods and fake social graces that felt as unreal as the old white and red makeup clowns used to wear at the turn of the century. But once the floor was sparkling, my heart and mind were still heavy with doubt. I waited anxiously for the time when I could finally pick him up from the sleepover he was on at a friend’s house so I could ask him.


One of the huge things I have always promised and required in return is complete honesty between C and I. Even if it’s not pretty, that’s okay the truth can be said with love and gentleness, but it needs to be the truth. “For trust is born of truthful words and nurtured with honorable actions.” Finally we were just us two picking up paint at the store and I was able to ask him. This mere boy of 9 (and a half) sounded so world weary as he answered me.

“It’s not you mom, I know you’ll love me no matter what and that if I do something like say want to paint my nails with your sparkly red nail polish or wear a costume for daytime clothes when it’s not Halloween that you’ll stand beside me. Cause you’re awesome like that. But as I’m getting bigger it’s sometimes more confusing how I’m supposed to act, what other people expect from me. And I know you tell me to be a Lion and not a sheep, and that I’m supposed to follow my heart and do what I feel is right for me. But sometimes those things get me picked on or laughed at, and I don’t like it. I want to be my real self, but my real self isn’t always accepted by others, and I know you say that no one in the world is liked by everyone but I can’t help that I want to liked by other kids my age. But it’s hard cause sometimes for them to like me I feel like I have to be fake. I listen to the song and it makes me feel like someone else feels the same, so I’m not alone.”


We talked some more, but it was hard to hear how society makes him feel like he can’t be himself and be accepted. I’m sure there are SO many other people out there that feel the same way, perhaps it’s a rite of passage as children get older, but he’s my eldest, so this is the first time I’ve had to sit wringing my hands at a situation I can’t fix, one that I can’t even really get in the middle of and my heart hurts for him.

All I can do is tell my sweet boy this: You are never alone, I will walk beside you knowing what an honor it is to do so every single day of your life. No one can accept the real you if you don’t show them who that is. The ones that don’t, well quite honestly it’s their loss to bear to not have you as a friend. Be true to who you really are and know that the right people will see what a gift your presence can be in their lives. Be my brave lion, and watch as you take your place amongst the other brave souls who dance freely to the beat of their own soul song, who will be your true friends.  

One response to “A borrowed MP3 player, sparkling floors, and a heavy heart

  1. Shantelle says:

    ❤ ❤

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: