Here is my humble attempt at day two of a challenge offered up by one of my favorite blog gurus, brandewijnwords. The task at hand is to share my favorite quotes for three consecutive days.
This has proven to be more difficult than I anticipated. I have so many quotes swirling around my head right now. But this one is the first that came to mind, so I’m going with it. (You can visit @summoningmagic to see more of my favorites.)
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…our playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you…and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
~ Marianne Williamson
This first time I read this, I realized I had done this my entire life: played small. There were several reasons why I chose to do this, the primary one being I desperately craved love and acceptance from those I loved…most who didn’t exactly know how to reciprocate. Regardless, it became very clear to me that being the center of attention was not unacceptable.
I never understood it, really. It was next to impossible for me to believe I had any redeeming qualities…precisely because those were not to be cultivated or celebrated. They were to be stifled.
So, for survival purposes, I stayed in the shadows. And it truly was to survive. For me, being rejected by the ones I love the most was and is my worst possible fate. Being the smartest or prettiest or anything that threatened anyone else was simply not an option.
So I played small.
This meant that I constantly attracted people who demanded the spotlight, and I gladly gave it to them.
I’m not sure when the shift happened, but I know this quote fueled it. I imagine being a trainer/coach also contributed. That was my first experience having someone look to me for guidance or want my permission to shine. It changed me. On a fundamental level, it changed me.
There is nothing more beautiful than to be a part of someone realizing their worth.
So I still gladly offer up the spotlight, but it’s no longer for acceptance. It’s for the joy of seeing someone shine from the inside out.
As for the ones who feel they need to steal the light from others, I think I understand it now. They are simply doing what they think will prevent their biggest fear- their worst possible fate- to be rejected by the ones they love the most.