“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.”
― Marianne Williamson, Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”
Do you remember the day I bravely announced that I was leaving my unfulfilling life behind? Do you remember my insistence that what I do, still matters? Do you remember when I swore that I would never sell out (frequently quoting this poem that my friend wrote)?
Well, security carries with it a siren call. It tricks us. I entered this city as a shrinking violet, telling myself that I would follow everyone else’s lead, before doing anything outstanding. Then, I fell back into the trap of “ducking the radar,” so that I could make sure that this new life stayed secure, for my husband and daughter. After all, they did move across the country for me. We’re 1200 miles away from home; shouldn’t I do all I can, to maintain the stability that we do have?
But, then, I faced a frustrating and discouraging situation today. I described it to a friend of mine, beginning with the usual “underdog” scenario. I’m just doing what I can to survive, right? And I really have no choice. I would be hurting others if I took any “risks,” right?
And even as I was writing it, I knew it was wrong. I am not here for security. I left all that behind. I have not been as happy here as I could be, and a great deal of that is likely because I have been hiding in the shadows.
I have ideas–great ideas that could bring about a lot of positive change. Or they could fail completely. Either way, they are ideas, with potential, that deserve a chance. Shrinking away, in the name of security–giving in to the fear that I have projected onto those closest to me–with not serve the world or humanity. That is not why I am here.
Three months ago, I watched the only place I ever knew, fade from my back window. I made the bold decision to leave it all behind. I gave away my house, uprooted my family, and started over, completely.
I didn’t do it, so that I could cower and be paralyzed by fear.
Never will that happen again. Never. Again.
I am here to let my light shine. Even if I am terrified. It will shine brighter. Even if I feel alone or wrong. It will shine brighter. Even if I think it is foolish. It will shine brighter.
I am here to shine.
Survival is not the issue. We will eat and have a home no matter what.
The risk is that I will die before ever living. And I am here to live.