It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?'
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 people won't feel insecure around you.
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 all of us. And when 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.”
~ via Nelson Mandela in his 1994 inaugural speech
Here is the deal. ~In 2 days I will be... ( gasp) 40.
Yes I will.
So with that being said... I am wanting to share the lessons that I have earned, some very costly.
The quote above is not just a "sweep: feel good" statement. It is a drum march of my walk.
I experienced a lot of cruelty in school, I moved a lot and was the " new girl"... I was a target for pettiness and jealousy all through high school. Well, as we have all learned women don't stop being ridiculous when they graduate. They grow teeth.
Years ago I gave up being frustrated with the lack of really confident women who could be friends with depth and character. Ironically, when I quit being disappointed...in the lack of dynamic women, I started intersecting more and more frequently with powerhouses.
I was equipped to appreciate and celebrate these women and their strengths, talents, abilities...I was in a place where I could accept/ delight in the endless creativity of God in his knitting together women who were frankly in each of their own rights amazing.
I did not struggle with comparison or jealousy... I really was enamored with the qualities of the gals I had the privilege to share time with.
One thing~ though~ that has risen to the surface the subtle doubt I still held about myself.
I have never embraced the possibility that I may be holding back. While I know I can whole~ heartedly appreciate and admire another ... I don't unfold because of fear.
Yes it's true.
OF WHAT? doesn't matter... fear is never a good motivation. It is the opposite of FREEDOM.
(Psalm 119:45 I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.)
So, now that I am aware of this temptation to operate at less than my full potential, I am going to be intentional about guarding my heart. Yes 40 is going to be the mile marker of "FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY."~ in other words courage.
I still find friendships elusive, sometimes tricky...but I am willing to be brave.
Let's face it, I am a mother to a dynamic daughter... I have sisters and a powerful sister in law... and a new niece... it is imperative that I don't hide my light under a basket...
I will still feel doubt, anxiety ...and sometimes people WILL BE MEAN. But I am not willing to have any unnecessary regrets. Part of growing wiser is valuing the power of BEING INTENTIONAL. My favorite pastor used to say..."humility is not thinking too highly of yourself OR too lowly...it is agreeing with God about your worth." AMEN.
" This little light of mine... I am going to let it shine...let it shine... let it shine."
1 Chronicles 29:11Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things.