I first saw this quote about 2 or 3 years ago. I remember thinking, “wow, I’ve never heard anything like it. I love it.” I forgot about it until just a few weeks ago. I couldn’t even remember the exact words used, but Google knew what I was trying to search. And after those few years, I have come to love this quote even more. I wanted to share this quote with everyone to break it down, explain what it means to me, and ultimately to motivate you. I hope you can take my words of encouragement for yourself and spread it to those who need it!
“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?
– Marianne Williamson
First things first, I have a few deep fears, just like any normal human being. (Fine, being afraid of the dark isn’t that deep…but I still appreciate a nightlight). But, I never took into consideration that I might be afraid of my potential. Afraid of how bright my light shines. Afraid of who I might intimidate, hurt, or be downright “too much” for.
Depending on my surroundings, I could be constantly thinking if I’m being too nice, too quiet, too question-y, too distracted, too whatever! I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks this. No, I’m not a perfectionist or people-pleaser, but I have had my share of self-conscious moments. I get worried that I can’t be my bubbly and enthusiastic self around those I don’t know or those who are the exact opposite of me. I FEED off of energetic people. I admit, I am afraid of how I look to people who are thoughtful, quiet, shy, and reserved.
Another one of my fears is to not know myself. Read that again. Yup, I am afraid, concerned, worried, and a wee bit scared that my friends, parents, or dog will know me better than myself.
To put these two fears together, I think I need to work on understanding myself. I need to pray to God for an open heart and clear mind, understanding, love, and acceptance. What is my light and where do I see it the most? Where do others see my light the most? Where does my light go out? Why? Well, let’s figure me out!
I see my light the most when I am with friends. We laugh and enjoy each other’s company. We can poke fun at each others’ quirks and giggle it out. I can be completely myself. I can do a head stand while crossing my eyes or scream in the car for the heck of it. I think my light dims away when I am with family. I can be demanding and mean or distracted and uninterested, all because I can be the most terrible person and I know they would never leave me. My light dims when I am caught up in my to-do list. I don’t make time for others and I become frustrated easily when things don’t happen on my time line.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
– Matthew 5:16
But when I’m with classmates or strangers, what is my given gift? I ask the Lord to help me not place myself above others, to give me a generous and helping heart to willingly serve my professors or tutor classmates. Is that my gift? I always thought having energy and being a smile-child was my thing. I have a way with words, usually highly encouraging and anger-induced, no in-between. At times, I’m unsure if my characteristics are the correct way to serve the Lord. But like I said, I need to pray for understanding. I ask the Lord to show me the unique creation that I am. I ask Him to shine His light through me, because mine is flawed. When it’s Jesus working through me, no one can stop it and no one’s judgement of it matters.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
– Ephesians 2:10
So what exactly am I afraid of? I’m afraid that I can’t fully take advantage of the light inside of me. I am holding something back to ensure that I don’t stand out too much. I usually don’t worry about what others think of me, but I also know that the potential God has in me is being cut off at my own will.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid?”
– Psalm 27:1
I encourage you to write out the attributes or features of yourself that you love, and the ones that you dislike. Make note of what you want to change and boldly accept your flaws. For you, this might look like jotting down how big of a heart you have or mentioning those thin hairs on your toe knuckles (oh wait, just me?).
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”
– Colossians 3:1-3
Pray to the Creator of this universe, the Maker of your body and everything in it, to show you your heart. Ask for a heart-check, a mind-check, an intentions-check. Praise Him for who He created you to be! Accept the light that’s waiting to burst out of you and let it bring glory to God. Don’t worry of someone’s judgements on you, because you have the Lord Almighty saying, “you are who I say you are”.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”
– Psalm 139 :14
I hope you find this helpful and I hope you are curious! Lord knows I have a million more questions on my mind after writing this 🙂