"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 doesn't 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 are 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." – Barack Obama

Now I'm not a supporter of Barack.  To be perfectly honest, I have no idea who will win my vote in the coming election.  However, as a person, and not necessarily a politician, that phrase strikes me as extraordinary.  When we succeed, we are often made to feel as though we should not have succeeded, or that others failed because of our success.  When we fail, we feel inadequate and ashamed.  Why is that? 

While I don't necessarily agree with the religious aspects, even from a spiritual or universal standpoint, what good are we doing when we don't work to our full potential?  How can we truly make things better when we work only at only half our potential?  If we weren't meant to use all of our gifts, why bother receiving them?  

"We are all meant to shine, as children do."  I've learned so much from watching my children – from how good it must feel to laugh without thinking that an onlooker will think you're crazy, how to dance with reckless abandon even when no music is playing, and just how to love others without asking for anything in return.  Children shine, and this quote makes me think that we cover their light – that we teach them that it is not okay, or that it makes others feel bad when they reveal their light.  I don't want my children to squander their light.  I don't want to be the tarp that covers their light.  I want to be the lighthouse that guides their light and helps them find the best purpose for it.  Shine on, babies.  Shine on! 

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