cocky-winter-sparrowAs I prepared to write today, I looked up from my keyboard and saw a sparrow in the rhododendron outside my window. As I often do, I immediately dug into the symbolism associated with the animal and this is what I found:

Although small, the sparrow animal totem is powerful and productive. It’s persistence and integrity show us that we do not have to be big to make a difference. We also do not need to have the biggest and best things in order for our voices to be heard.

The sparrow reflects the self-worth that we should feel for ourselves regardless of external factors. This energy and passion for ourselves is within each of our hearts somewhere, waiting to be awakened. These little songbirds want us to sing our soul’s own song, just as they do.

When a sparrow flits into your life, it is imploring you to recognize your own self-worth. Although tiny, this creature can act as a massive source of empowerment. Do not underestimate yourself and your abilities. Instead, puff your chest up full of energy and pride, sing your own tune and march to the beat of your own drum.

Sparrows also…care deeply for their community and see the benefits of working together for common causes. 

That sparrow damn near wrote this post for me.

There’s no question that external factors have been taking a toll on my self-worth lately. I’m a single parent, child support payments have been spotty and, even though I make it through every month, I’m not always sure how I’m going to do it. I’ve been persistent in seeking regular work but have been consistently ignored and rejected. I often beat myself up for not being more of something, better at something else, or just different.

And yet as the sparrow was there to remind me… energy and passion are awake in my life, and I don’t need to be the biggest or the best to make a difference.

The sparrow reminds me that I’m working with one community (Indivisible Tacoma) to advance a common cause, and co-creating another around the kitchen table with my housemate, our friends and our families. It acknowledges me for supporting artists all over the country through readings and conversation, and working with authors writing about personal growth and religious leadership.

And though I often find it challenging these days to  puff my chest up full of energy and pride, sing my own tune and march to the beat of my own drum, that is exactly what the sparrow wants for me.

It takes an enormous amount of faith, courage and support to march to the beat of one’s own drum. It requires that you face dissenting voices from society, family and the inside of your own head. But when the drumbeat of society is as toxic, dysfunctional, disconnected and fearful as it is now, your authentic drum is exactly what is needed.

And just as the sparrow is there for me, I am here for you.