Our Biggest Fear
“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, and 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 to. We were born to 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 Willamson
As I am writing this blog with the intention to encourage all of us to embrace ourselves and feel we are enough. The experience of writing about things brings to light how inadequate and unworthy I feel attempting to teach this message .I have struggled with this for as long as I can remember. Indeed, we teach that which we most want to learn.
I remember locking myself in my dormitory my junior year of college with both my brother and teammate knocking at my door. I was fortunate enough to attend college on a swimming scholarship. I had been voted team captain and rumor was, I was the top seed going into the national competition. On one hand, this sound like a great opportunity, yet I was paralyzed by fear. Who am I to lead my team and deserve such a gift? Who am I to have this power? And that fear, held me back from many opportunities.
I found myself wondering lately, when did I become so protective of myself? When did I start seeing talents and strengths as paralyzing realizations?
So I reflected on my childhood. Before I knew I was told I was good or that people were watching me, I just did my best. I cultivated my talents and followed my bliss. I didn’t know to fear parts of myself. It was once the expectations and labels were placed that I began to fear my strengths.
I started to fear the responsibility that came with the awareness that my actions influenced people. Also the unspoken assumption that when you shine, people expect you to continue shining and a feeling of trying to control something I knew I was ultimately powerless over.
Perhaps it is as Spiderman says, “with great power comes great responsibility.” I believe it is a great responsibility to own the power we have over who we become and how we impact this world. We can spend so much time and energy running from our fears by seeking certainty and security. All that fear and business blocks out our light. It can be scary to recognize that you are in control of what you create or do not create. Yet isn’t that how we free ourselves to live?
Living requires letting go of your ideas and delusions about what makes you safe. It takes faith, trust and surrendering control and we don’t hear a lot about those in these days. It is scary to live, I mean really live.
We can’t explain or grasp the mystery or energy we have inside of us and perhaps we aren’t meant to. Perhaps our greatest power is much like a tree that stands tall all the while providing oxygen to support all of life. The tree just knows its purpose and allows itself to do what is was created to do. It is present to the mystery without taking too much or too little. Nature knows it is good enough, it knows nothing of fear.
The reality is that we don’t get to keep anything, our joys or our sorrows. They are fleeting and and will come and go just like the seasons. Nature certainly does have a lot to each us. And when we deeply see this, that we don’t get to keep anything, we feel free to give away that which is timeless and transforms us. Love. That love and power is not ours to keep either. It is the power that is channeled through us, we merely can chose to allow the energy to shine it or resist it.
I was scared in college and I am scared now writing these words, but I am learning to trust. I watched a fantastic documentary called Journey of the Universe. The documentary shared research that the universe was created at the perfect speed. If it was created any quicker or slower, the conditions would not have been what they needed to be to allow the remarkable creation to unfold. We are part of that universe and remarkable creation. So perhaps we are exactly where we need to be, growing at the exact speed we are supposed to, not too fast and not to slow. We are not inadequate, we are exactly who are meant to be.