A couple of weeks ago I was having dinner with an acquaintance. At one point she asked me what my gifts are. Even though her question was within the context of our conversation, it still threw me off for a second. I stammered through a lame sentence or two, yammering about something I’d probably be embarrassed about, if I could still remember what I said. And then I blurted out “being me”! I mentioned that sharing my story is my gift. For most of my life, I stayed in the background so that no one would notice me because I felt I had nothing of value to offer. While I no longer feel that way about myself, in hearing that question, I froze and wanted to disappear. Where was our waiter to interrupt us? My old insecurities and doubt elbowed their way into our dinner conversation. Putting my beautiful feelings and beliefs about myself to words might possibly result in her judging me. And, given our conversation topic, I assumed she expected me to say that I could hear someone’s thoughts, or see energy, or know the future. Instead, I eventually got around to answering that my gift is just being me. I hoped she wasn’t disappointed. I finally feel I’m pretty awesome and I’d really rather not hide myself anymore. But I still want to hide sometimes. The thought of many people looking at me as I walked towards my husband at the alter, completely unhinged me. When my zumba instructor invited me up to the front of the room to dance with her groupies, I was both flattered and terrified. When I give a talk I have so many gifts to share, but it’s such an enormous challenge and stretch for me. Do I have other perceived “gifts” along the lines of our conversation? Yes. However, the bigger point is that, my gift is being me and allowing myself to share all that I’ve learned, see others…while letting them see me, figuratively and literally.