“Be quiet!” “Shhhhh!”
It’s what I heard in just about every room I went into, when I was young, living at a Buddhist meditation center.
When I was young, I was loud and sweet and sensitive and proud. Still am. This quote, then, really turned me around in a way—instead of being yelled at, or criticized, as I was in my Buddhist community for being loud and dorky and full of myself (when really I was more just insecure), I could let go of any shame about being big and loud and dorky, and just be myself.
Next time you feel like you oughta be smaller, safer, less shiny…(re)read this.
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.
It’s way more fun to have a sense of humor about yourself, and a sense of uncompromised caring for what’s truly important, than to pretend to be small just to get along.
Most folks attribute this quote to Nelson Mandela. Fact is, author Marianne Williamson wrote it (it’s understandable, seeing as how easy it is to get the two of them confused).
Bonus: “Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.” ~ Rumi