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.” ----from A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson.
As a child, next to youngest of seven, I never felt I had a light to shine. Or if I did, it was such a pitifully small glow no one could see it. They'd be blinded by the brightness of the lights of my older siblings. Many years passed before I had the courage to let my own light shine. How many of you had trouble liberating yourself from fear of letting your own light shine?
At one point in my thirties and forties, I became a painter - oils on canvas - but even when I secretly felt good about my work, I never had the courage to say my paintings are good enough to sell or show. I finally quit painting. I had too many paintings and didn't need any more on my walls. The only painting that was ever sold was one I donated to a charity. They sold it quickly. I felt good that someone bought my painting, but there was no way I had the audacity to try to sell my own work.
I have been a writer since I was a child, but felt my work was unworthy of submitting to a publication. I enumerated in my mind, the various reasons my work could not be good enough. In high school, Ms. Feagan, my English teacher urged me to send a poem to a magazine. I never did.
Each time I took out my work to submit, I read it and found it lacking. For the hundredth time, I'd re-write it, but never send it out. Never stamp the envelope or write the cover letter.
A few years ago, I came to the place where I knew that I could shine my little flashlight into the darkness and it would become a beacon for others. My eyes opened and like a miracle, everywhere I looked I saw replicas of the person I had been, frightened and insecure with much to offer the world, but lacking the courage to hold up their light for all to see.
I learned that if we constantly compare our abilities to others, somewhere we will find someone who outshines us. But that doesn't mean we have to turn off our light. I wasted all those years I let myself believe that my accomplishments would never matter because of the brightness of my brothers' and sisters' achievements.
"As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
Do you let your light shine? If so, write about your experience.