“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.”
This quote was painted on the wall (in both English and Spanish) of a restaurant that Andy and I visited in Cusco a few nights ago. We were there because we’d heard it was the best restaurant to try alpaca, which we were keen to do. And, yes, the alpaca was excellent, but at the end of the night I found this quote more nourishing than the food.
The concept of shining, of embracing all that you’re capable of and not shying away from being “fabulous” just because it might make other people uncomfortable is something I’ve thought about a lot lately. I have a tendency to try to make everyone around me happy, sometimes at the expense of my own happiness. Our year of travel is a chance for me to try to come to terms with who I am and how I can best shine, to face some of my fears and to realise that in most cases I had nothing to be afraid of.
I think part of what makes this understanding possible is getting older and being more at ease with who I really am; but, part of it is remembering that I owe it to myself, to my family and to God to be as “brilliant” as I possibly can be and to help those around me be brilliant as well. It’s not something that will happen overnight. No amount of helpful quotes or stamps in my passport will help me immediately believe that I’m “gorgeous” or “talented”. But, pushing myself beyond my comfort zone and trying to live as bravely and honestly as possible is a pretty good start.