Our Greatest Fear —Marianne Williamson
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us
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 and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
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 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.
— Return to Love by Marianne Williamson, Harper Collins, 1992
I heard this at midnight on New Year's Eve in a community of men who love men. I appreciated it first for its immediate message and second for what I see as the subsequent spiritual challenge it presents to us. Williamson is right, all of us, Queer people especially, have a need to recognize the Godly in ourselves. We need to shine our authentic light and claim our deserved place in the world.
To do this is an act of both evolution and revolution. Our individual selves and our community require this evolution. Our new presence in the world will cause or constitute revolution, an unmistakable shake-up of the established, conforming order of society. When we become our full selves and proclaim God's blessing of our true selves, we will shake up our own souls and shake up the world.
Our growth presents a challenge to the world around us. Then it tosses another challenge back onto our shoulders: How do we grow with grace?
I think of how children learn to inhabit and maneuver in their new bodies? Adolescents are clumsy, clutzy, of necessity as they grow. It's hard to learn to be big with grace.
That's our challenge as we grow in spiritual and individual stature. We're going to be personally and individually clutzy. Initially we won't see the boundaries we cross, the toes we step on, the way to be full and large without being unkind and uncoordinated. I personally want to keep this challenge in mind as the new year begins. The world in 2013 profoundly needs our evolution and revolution. It also needs our generosity and our consideration. Godly revolution requires prayer for our own good and for the good of the world.
My prayer for us all: May we grow with courage and grow with grace as this new year begins.
Our doubts are traitors,
Measure for Measure. Act i. Sc. 4.5