Marianne Williamson wrote something that has profoundly impacted my world. I think that there are lots of layers to it and I certainly haven’t come to a place where I fully understand it or live it out in my life. I have a very deep desire for this to be true of me….someday!
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
This poem is framed in my office and I see it daily. Sometimes I just see it as a nice motivation or needed inspiration. But today, I feel the need to let it sink a bit deeper into my soul and begin to transform some very needed parts of me. It seems a natural instinct for me to want to shrink back and to “play small” in order not to intimidate others. I’ve found that a positive quality, although the reality is sinking in that it may not serve as positive a purpose as I had once thought. I’ve experienced that ego and arrogance lead to only selfishness, greed, and violence and none of those things improve the world around me. Contemplation leads me to the next line (“We are all meant to shine as children do) and the reality that I’m pretty certain I did not shine as a child sits sort of heavy on my heart. I had to grow up very quickly and the light of childhood and innocence was snuffed out far too quickly. I have watched my children shine everyday for 15 years and don’t often see them shrink back or play small. I long to be liberated from my fear, to live each day motivated and driven by love. What a joy it would be to wake up with the freedom and permssion to let my light shine freely into the world around me! If that were to give others permission to be liberated and shine in their own unique way, it would just be an added bonus, really!
I will continue to grow through this journey and hopefully begin to discover more fully how to live this out day by day! What does it look like for you to SHINE to the world around you? Are there people who can be liberated by your presence?