When I first read this quote by Marianne Williamson:
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’s 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’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
I thought – “Are you kidding me?!?! I wish I was powerful beyond measure!”
The more I honor my passions and take responsibility for my life, the more I understand this quote.
I thought feeling stuck, inadequate and fearful was just who I was because even my successes felt painfully empty. For example, I put myself through college and graduated from Berkeley with honors and yet internally I was like, “this is an important milestone, be happy dammit!” Underneath my sense of accomplishment, throbbed an exposed isthisreallyallthereexpletiveisnerve. Prior to Berkeley, I attended City College of San Francisco and loved it so much that I didn’t want to leave – in fact I drew it out for four years. I enrolled part-time in classes so I could fully participate in every club and program that spoke to me. I became a peer educator for Project Survive, giving classroom presentations on ending domestic violence and sexual assault; I ran the Women’s Resource Center and coordinated all their campus wide events; I served as President and Treasurer for student clubs – I was lit up inside! Then it came time to transfer and I made a fear based decision – “What degree will leave me with career options?” At the time, I prided myself on my maturity and responsibility. Now I know that in order to feel truly fulfilled, my accomplishments must connect with my soul, otherwise I am seen for what I do rather than who I am.
Shortly after graduation, when there were no papers to crank out, I realized I had no idea who I was, what I wanted, or what to do. I spent the next seven years lost in a spiritual blackout. When I could no longer avoid or deny that I needed help, I reached out for a lifeline and my whole life began to shift. I found an incredible coach and committed to knowing who I am and what I want. The process felt daunting. One moment, I would be adventurous and on top of the world then I’d be right back in inadequate land. I kept feeling stuck and useless, however with each leap I grew stronger and more discontent when returning to my old way of being. The pain of transformation pales in comparison to suffering without hope. This period has been the most terrifying, thrilling, electric and expansive of my life. As I take responsibility for my experience and impact on others, I am liberated from the false security and lie of inadequacy. I experience my courage and compassion. I yearn to express my greatness – my resurrected soul stretches out, past my limiting, habitual beliefs – out into the unknown and possible future. Each moment I choose to play this game of life full-out, I win, because even the missteps and breakdowns result from my commitment and willingness to explore, grow, play and come alive. When I celebrate even the smallest victories (like writing this post) I celebrate my whole being because they stem from my deepest desire.
“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.”
May you play full-out in your life and experience your magnificence!