There’s a quote from Marianne Williamson that I share with many of my coaching clients:
“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 and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.”
I think I need to read this and remember it.
In the past three days two people have told me to “let my light shine.” Two people have told me that I’m holding myself back, and not allowing myself to be as brilliant and full of life as I could be.
It gets me thinking. Babies and little children automatically know how wonderful they are. They know – not think, but know – that they’re beautiful and special and, in many ways, divine. They’re born knowing this. We were all born knowing this. We knew this about ourselves at one point. How did we lose it?
How did we somehow learn that we’re not enough? How did we learn to shut ourselves down and close ourselves off? How did we learn that we don’t want to think too highly of ourselves, or too much of ourselves? How did we learn not to shine?
I guess it doesn’t really matter how we learned it. I guess what matters is that we unlearn it. Because in my best of days I can look at nearly everyone I see – friends, family, colleagues, and strangers – and I can see their light. I can see “the divine” shining through them. I can see how special each person is, if not to me than definitely to someone else, and hopefully to themselves.
I can see it in them, and chances are they can (hopefully, at least sometimes) see it in me. The challenge is for us all to see it in ourselves.
There’s a meditation community in my neighborhood built around the practice of Loving Kindness. The Loving Kindness starts with oneself. I am learning more and more to offer myself compassion and loving kindness. I am learning more and more to allow my light to shine. Truth be told, it still makes me a bit uncomfortable. But I’m learning to, day by day.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
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