Yesterday I posted the following quote from Marianne Williamson’s A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles:
“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.”
Yesterday, it seemed too … impetuous perhaps, to add anything to Williamson’s inspiringly lucid and powerful insight. It seemed too soon to say anything more about the truth. And inappropriate to do anything but give it due respect by just letting it hang out there, in full view, for awhile.
Today is a different day, and I’m ready to talk about it – if only for a little. (Being ‘our deepest fear’ it will, likely, need some patience and courting to fully dissolve, and disappear. Some dipping in and out – like a post or twelve, every year, for the rest of my life.)
Today I want to ask you explicitly, to do what yesterday I left implicit: To reflect on the wisdom and insight contained in Williamson’s words. To reflect on their truth. To recognize the tendency within yourself to shrink – not from fear of failure, but from the fear of your true glory.
And further, if you dare, to give yourself permission to shine in all your brilliance – whatever that turns out to be. Please, by all means, dare: not only so that you might actually taste real fulfillment and satisfaction in your life – but so that you might thereby inspire others to do the same, i.e. to give themselves the same permission. For this, you understand, is how we are going to effect any kind of lasting and enlightened change in the world, (if, of course, we are going to do so at all), namely: by invoking our best – our most glorious, most powerful, best.
We must have the freedom to shine if we are going to have even the hope of doing so.
As Oscar Wilde said: “A red rose is not selfish because it wants to be a red rose. It would be horribly selfish if it wanted all the other flowers in the garden to be both red and roses.”
Do not apologize for the good that you are and that you do. Make no mistake: that is not what it means to be humble or helpful. Do not ask a rose – whether it is your brother, your partner, your colleague, your friend, or yourself – to hold back its beauty, its charisma, and/or well-being. Do not imagine that a rose might augment the glory of the flower-bed by limiting its flourishing or success. Do not be ridiculous. Be free. And be so not only for yourself, but so that others might be too.