Monday, October 30, 2006

our greatest fear

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,
but that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.
We ask ourselves,
Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
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 were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

- Marianne Williamson in A Return to Love

Two things happened yesterday that really helped center me, which came at a good a time since I've been fairly stressed. First, I watched the movie Akeelah and the Bee with Matt and the kids. What an inspiring movie. It included the above quote, which I'd heard before. I love it though, and it really speaks to me, as I often struggle with alternating feelings of insecurity and powerlessness with feelings of being "too much" and and do not want to convey that to others. How can I be proud of my accomplishments, and the knowledge of how far I've come in my life, without it coming across as if I am haughty, especially when I do not feel that way in my heart?

I am my own fiercest critic, both professionally and personally. That said, it is incredibly common for me to internalize the perceived (and real) negative messages and vibes that come across from others, and allow that negativity to rule my thoughts rather than the more loving truth of grace - that I am ok exactly as I am on this lifelong journey toward becoming more whole, more real, more loving, more kind, more forgiving, more gentle - with myself and others. And it helped remind me that it is ok to admit my strengths and not be ashamed, as if acknowledging my strengths somehow makes me un-humble.

The other thing is a moment I will treasure in my heart for years to come. Around 10pm I picked up my best friend Daline from her sister's wedding - and back at my house, she sang me a song she had written and it was one of those moments that filled me with a truly centering uplifting grace. She has spent the last 9 mo or so in a Buddhist monastery, and when we left Peru there were some tensions, but we'd gotten past them before she got here though we talk less because of her schedule. But she was in such a beautiful gentle place, and when she sang this song, it brought tears to my eyes, and as she sang it she was smiling the whole time. You could feel the presence of God. It was very moving and powerful. I recorded it on my phone, and she has a beautiful voice (I've never heard her sing!) and an incredibly moving spirit. I am so blessed to have shared her genuine friendship for the past 15 years.

This to me is what life is all about, and I want to surround myself with people like her, people that forgive, and that strive to accept and to love even when we have bumps in the relationship. Here are some of the lyrics though it is most powerful radiating from her voice...

here are a few verses, starting about halfway through:

When I see we all do the best we can
When I seek first to understand
When what I have is more than plenty
When I reach out to lend a hand
When I can see you in every bird and bee
Every river every tree
When I’m connected to that place inside
When I can see you in all of humankind
I know I’ll never be alone

You’re in my heart, You’re in my touch
You’re in my laugh, You’re in my eyes
You’re in my words, You’re in my silence
You’re in my joyful cries
Your warmth within me radiates
A smile is on my lips
Your energy it fills my sail
I have the strength to steer my ship

Sometimes I can’t hear you
My thoughts they drown you out
I get overwhelmed and fearful
I want to cry and scream and shout

(silent pause)

But when I stop when I listen
I can hear you loud and clear
When I stop when I quiet
I can feel you oh so near

- (c) Daline Limbaugh

1 comment:

Wendee said...

This is sooo perfect for me right now. Thanks Wendee!