I’ve dealt with insecurity my entire life. In Grade 8 I began the year as the shortest in the class and ended as the tallest. My feet were huge and I had zits. Lots of them. I got teased about it and for being a ‘goodie 2 shoes’. I had no interest in drinking or partying, I went to church, I was gangly and geeky. A masterpiece on all accounts!
I grew into myself in high school and became quite confident in my abilities and strengths…to a degree. As I reflect on certain aspects, however, I was afraid to become more than how I was seen to be. I went for the underdogs, trying to help them feel better about themselves, supporting friends who needed a boost while pushing down my own abilities, not wanting anyone to feel threatened or insecure in my presence. A good trait to have, yes?
“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
I have spent the past several years reading and re-reading that quote – struggling with it, thinking about it, and ultimately wondering if I will ever fully believe it of myself. The past 2 weeks I have been bombarded with quotes, stories, comments, status updates from mentors and friends – challenging me to be my unique self, to be bold and to not hold back from what is in my heart to be and do. If it weren’t such a constant barrage I may not be so inclined to publish this post. With what’s churning though, I don’t believe I’m in a position to hold back any longer.
I’ve not usually been one to make New Year’s resolutions, normally renewing my vision and dreams in the Fall. Right now there is something within me that will not sit still. It will not allow me the luxury of comfort or peace in a certain regard. It’s eating at me and I have 2 choices: I can ignore it or I can embrace it. Can you guess which one I’m going to choose? You’re right. It is time for me to stop playing small. It’s time for me to not shrink back, but to let my light shine so that I actually do live fully, as I so boldly declare people should do.
I believe my light is here to encourage and uplift those who need it, definitely not to shrink back. If my light doesn’t shine, how many will miss out on a word, a moment, that may propel them forward? Who am I to place limits on who may be impacted by my life and what it is I’ve been created to share?
It’s high time I live what’s in my heart, not what I think others expect from me. I get so introspective with these kinds of thoughts because I want to ensure I’m expressing myself properly. My daughter watches me struggle with each sentence I write before I post it on my social media outlets and she challenges me – “Don’t think so much Mom, just write.” Pretty insightful to think that even in it’s simplicity she just wants me to let my light shine too. Pretty cool.
2013 is my time to shine. I’m declaring it. You may think I’m presumptuous or arrogant. I don’t give a rip except to ask this question, “Care to join me, will you let your light shine?”