Thursday, May 10, 2012

Our Deepest Fear

“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,
A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles

Did you feel that? I get chills every time I read this quote. Can you imagine what your life would be like if you lived it fearlessly? What would it be like to always reach up and not down? To look forward and not backwards? To set a goal, reach it, and then set a bigger one? What kind of power would you realize as an individual if you just decided to go after everything instead of letting things "just happen"? What would it be like to live your life without regrets and "what-ifs"? Would you be honest with yourself about your hang-ups and jealousies? Would you do something to make yourself a better person? Would you accept that you are not perfect in living, but certainly in your creation? Would you realize your endless potential? Would you dream bigger than you ever have? Would you try something new? What would you do?

What is this idea of 'light', anyway? Who or what is that? Is it God? Is it energy manifested? Why do we seem to function better in the light rather than in darkness?Why do we need it? There is light from the sun that is powerful and affords all living things the ability to exist. (Light, life, and power--how about that?) When we have a realization about something, we say, "I have seen the light!" Or, you know the saying, "What's done in the dark will come to the light." There is power in truth. Many people actually experience the "winter blues" because of the absence of sunlight. Decide for yourself what 'light' is, but know that the potential to shine is common to everyone.

So, how do you get that little light of yours to shine on the inside? The simple answer is to just get out of your own way. You have to nurture your spirit and start to see yourself as part of the whole. Maybe you've seen the commercial recently where an individual witnesses someone helping an elderly lady and then offers some act of kindness to the next person he encounters. Our actions are powerful. It ain't what you say, it is what you do that matters. Being great creates a domino effect in your circle of influence. The gift of self-realization is as much a blessing to you as it is to the people around you. It stirs up feelings of hope. It makes people cheer for you when you don't cheer for yourself. It inspires others to be better.

Consider the dynamic of team sport. There have been many a talented athlete in professional sports, but few have gotten the brass ring. Look at Michael Jordan. He had millions of people around the world wanting to be "like Mike". That translates into different things to different people. On the surface, some people wanted to score 63 points, be the slam dunk champion, get the endorsements, or win multiple championships. His true talent, however, lied in his incredible work ethic as well as his ability to make everyone around him better. He challenged every deficiency of his game and silenced his critics by delivering on the court. His fans were drawn to his power to grow and change and be great. He was realizing his potential as a player. That kind of power is magnetic. That kind of power is inside each and everyone of us.

Mahatma Gandhi said, "You must be the change you want to see in the world." And, yes, while change has come to America, it is incumbent upon all of us to be great and fearless and fantastic and brilliant and powerful. Those qualities are inherent in our very creation. Suppressing them is not an option.

Be good to yourself! More next time...