Musings of the Day
Shining/Hiding Our Light
Hear this read aloud below
I believe that we are all here to serve the planet in some way. Each of us using our unique gifts to contribute to others, to the earth, to animals, to raising awareness. The piece that I wasn’t aware of until now as I sit here in the middle of the night writing, is that we don’t have to do anything special in order to serve. We just have to be ourselves and let our light shine. We have to be willing to step out of hiding what we consider to be our shortcomings, out of trying to be perfect before showing our faces, and out of our limited beliefs about what service is. Serving is nothing other than offering ourselves, our love, our attention, our wisdom, our gifts. It doesn’t have to be on the level of Bill Gates to make a difference.
Stepping out of the shadows, warts and all, and having the courage to be seen, is a way to serve others. We share our humanity and make it OK for others to show that they too, might be experiencing something similar. We create connection, which is a powerful gift to offer anyone, since so many of us go through life feeling terribly alone.
When I was leading workshops many years ago I began and ended each 12 - week course with a quote from Marianne Williamson that struck a cord with me. It shone a light on my own fear of being seen. I read the quote at the start of each course and at the end I asked one of my students to read it aloud in front of the group. As they stood and spoke there were always tears of recognition. There is power in speaking truth and this is truth.
“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
My experience has shown me that not only does my fear of being inadequate keep me hiding, but my fear of my own power and brilliance does as well. Gifts come with responsibility and that can be intimidating. We all have gifts. None of us is immune to that. So stepping out into the light and allowing those gifts room to grow, is what we’re here for. My mistake was in thinking that this required me to DO something other than be myself. I thought I needed to create something that was bigger and better than I was. I never believed that I, alone, was enough with nothing extra added.
What if all there was for us to do was be totally ourselves? To pay attention to those around us and treat them with respect and love. To pay attention to the planet we live on and remember that it is our very home and source of nourishment and to treat it with love and respect. To notice the animals who so graciously shower us with their love and treat them as the gifts that they are. To smile at someone, to open a door for someone, to gift someone with something as a thank you because they have gone out of their way for you, or to simply open your heart and live your life fully, possibly inspiring someone else to do the same.
What if shining our light was simple and it only required the courage to be ourselves, perfectly imperfect, beautifully flawed, afraid, insecure, and brilliant? Would you let yourself shine?