Recently I’ve been spending time exploring the inner workings of my true self.
In doing so, I have been seeking the courage to put myself out there, to dauntllessly share my truth with others. I’m committed to declaring the expression of my authentic self regardless of where I am or who I am with.
And, to find the courage to shine my light.
I had heard it before. Shining the light of my true being to the rest of world would be certain to influence those around me, a yearning I wished to uphold in my own life. But, ironically, the essence of this light within me has led me to a place of fear.
How could the revelation of my true self possibly lead me to feelings of anything other than fulfillment?
I first became aware of this fear from an experience I had within my yoga community. There was a teacher at the studio I admired immensely. She glowed in the way she carried herself with such ease and authenticity. It was clear that she was already tenacious in her commitment to the continuous exposure of her true self.
I respected her bravery, and her genuineness was something I lusted after in my own being.
As I grew to know her more each time I was in the studio, I felt inspired in her presence—but at the same time, I felt afraid and disinclined. Although I felt highly drawn to learning from her, I felt reluctant to grow close too close to her.
I knew her state of awareness and dedication to spiritual principles were, without a doubt, qualities I could assimilate.
But my reluctance put this to a screeching halt.
As someone who was already adamant on her journey to habitually shining her light for the rest of the world to see, I felt hesitantly curious as to what I would discover about myself if I decided to do the same. Although I felt highly drawn to this person, I felt reluctant, because as I grew closer to her, I knew I would have to come to terms with the unknown.
I knew there would be revelations I would uncover about myself if I began to practice life in the way she did.
Life as I knew it was at stake. And I wasn’t sure if I was ready for such a radical change.
I wondered if learning to live authentically all hours of the day, as did she, could even alter my identity. I would potentially be stepping into the role of a leader. People could start to look up to me in the way I looked up to her.
And if indeed this enabled me to step into the full power of the light of my true being, what would happen if I grew past the people closest to me in my life? If I began to beam in the illumination of my personal spiritual realizations, would my loved ones then feel insecure? Would I grow distant from them if they didn’t happen to agree with what it was I was now conveying to the world?
I began to feel as if it was easier to remain where I was—to play it safe and halt my growth for the sake of maintaining the relationships I valued most.
I shared these uncertainties with my father, a life-long practitioner of spiritual growth. It wasn’t until he shared this quote with me that everything changed:
“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? 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.” ~ Marianne Williamson
Suddenly it all made sense.
It is not egocentric for us to aspire to flourish as we express the nature of who we are at our core—it is actually an act of generosity. In doing so, we are able to encourage others to seek the light in themselves as well.
Although it may appear that the people around us oppose our truth or want nothing to do with this “light” we boldly radiate, we are unintentionally granting them the liberty to investigate their own, distinct light.
One of our most elemental purposes as humans is to impact the lives of the others around us. Each time we make the decision to refrain from the expression of our authentic uniqueness, we are also giving rise to the continuation of their darkness.
Every single one of us holds the capability to let our true selves roam free and whole. And until we let this capability take rise, we are serving neither others or ourselves. We are only serving the maturation of our fears, which ultimately will do us no good.
Despite lack of comfort we may face as we pursue the boldness to let this light glisten, we must remember that it is only from this place of living in alignment with our truth, that we will find what we are looking for.
The vulnerability which lies parallel to the authenticity of shining our light is, by no means, nerve-racking. But it is our responsibility as humans to disregard this fright and do it anyways. For the sake of ourselves and the others around us, we can all audaciously take action in finding this light within ourselves and graciously share it with the world.
The light within each and every one of us is a gift—a gift with such uniqueness and potent in its potential that, when shared with grace, it can enlighten the world around us.
Author: Natalie Lucci
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Unsplash/Utomo Hendra Saputra