Am I Afraid Of Shining?

Friday, October 09, 2009

Tonight, I received a comment on my SparkPage from one of my awesome SparkFriends, MICLWILDE. In it, he included a motivational quote from Marianne Williamson. It goes as follows:

"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.
We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, 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 is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is 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 fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Now, I've read this passage in the past and am a fan of Ms. Williamson's work, but the timeliness and the serendipity of this post by Michael completely blew me away and reminded me that there are no coincidences, that there's a life lesson always lurking around the corner that needs our attention. As I read this, it's as if God was speaking directly to me, answering the questions I had been asking just this past week.

You see, I've been a bit nervous about the upcoming fall festivities and holidays and the family get-togethers that accompany them. Particularly, I'm uncomfortable with the thought of seeing some of my in-laws -- or, rather, with the thought of them seeing me (and my obvious weight loss). I'm uneasy about having to explain the why and where and who and for how long and exactly how. And this usually opens the door to attempts to sabotage my endeavors.

Another SparkFriend of mine, RACHELRB, pointed out that it's amazing how we can share so much of ourselves with our SparkFriends online as opposed to people who know us more intimately. And it's true. I may be writing this blog and sharing this with my SparkFriends, yet I would never dream of sharing these same thoughts with certain people in my life.
For some reason, it makes me uncomfortable and anxious to think about the next get-together and I'm trying to figure out why.

Is it that I don't like the attention?

No, I like attention. I think everyone does... I actually have been quite a ham for most of my life.

Is it that I'm a private person?

To some degree, I guess I am. But, no, that's not it.

Is it that I'm afraid of being thin, of feeling good about myself, of letting it show, of standing out, of feeling beautiful, of how that will make certain people feel?

Of how that will make certain people feel...

Ah, I'm getting closer...

Am I afraid of shining?

Yes... I think I am.

It's as if I have this ongoing battle within me... I don't know when it happened or how long ago, but I have managed to implant this notion in my head that if I shine brightly, then that means that someone else doesn't get to or someone else will have a problem with it. I've had a couple of people in my life that have made it clear through their actions and words that they don't genuinely root for me and my successes. And so, like the passage says, I tend to shrink so that certain people won't feel insecure around me.

This has been an ongoing theme for me for quite some time now, and, yet, I've not dealt with it -- that is, until now.

THIS TIME, something is different inside of me; the changes have been consuming me and the habits, lifestyle, and motivation have been strengthening me. I feel like I need to own my beauty. I need to give myself permission to shine, even if there are those who, if it were up to them, would never give me that permission.

I have wasted so much time worrying about what this one will think or what that one will say to hurt my feelings; and in the meantime, I've stopped being me, being that spicy ham. I've stopped letting myself shine brightly.

When I first joined SparkPeople, I wrote a blog entitled "I AM SO READY." In it, there's a line that says, "I am so ready to recapture me, that long-forgotten essence of who I am.
I am so ready to regain my sense of self-worth, to let go, let God, and trust His footprints are in the sand...I am so ready to shout out to the world, 'This is me, I have earned this, and I'm ready to shine!' I am so ready to reclaim myself -- to reclaim not just me, but that little girl inside."

I now realize in writing tonight's blog that, for me, this healthful lifestyle, if it's going to be permanent (and I indeed intend for it to be) needs to be about more than being ready or more than strengthening my body and my willpower. It also needs to be about the strengthening of my spirit, of my resolve to honor this life and the commitments I have now made to myself. It needs to be about learning to embrace my vulnerabilities and not allowing fear to play any part in my journey.

As of this moment, I promise to myself to stand tall, shoulders back, with pride in what I've accomplished.

Something wonderful is happening to me, and I'm going to own this. It's time to shine.

Thanks for listening.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD5002230
    I've wasted most of my life squelching myself and trying to be someone else. I'm not sure if this is what you mean, but I'm beginning to be FREE to be ME!

    Thanks for sharing!

    4253 days ago
    Shine on, my dear girl, shine on. Thank you so much for putting into words a lot of what has held me back, and reminding me that I deserve for my light to shine for the glory of God, the Father.
    4296 days ago
    So true! We cannot let others define us. When they try to define us, I think it is a reflection of their own insecurities, their own dissatisfactions with their own lives. Why should anyone else be able to succeed? You are your own person, a beautiful child of God. Shine on!! emoticon
    4304 days ago
    I must say that not only do I love your blog, but that I understand how you feel. I have a very supportive husband, but as far as getting a speck of support from in-laws or friends-NONE! Zip, zero, nada!!! I dread seeing my MIL, and if you read some of my blogs, you would know why. I have felt invisible for SO long! But it's a new day, and I have a new attitude. Yes, it's time for you to shine, and your light will be SO bright! And do NOT let anyone try to put out that light! SHINE on!!!
    Doreen emoticon
    4317 days ago
    Wow! Beautifully written. I think we all need to print out this blog and refer to it from time to time when we feel we "don't deserve" what we are giving ourselves. I know I beat myself up often- words I give myself are ones I woundn't want to hear from any friend or loved one, let alone an enemy. Stand tall and be proud of who you are and how you are taking care of yourself. And by all means, if you can spread the spark do so! emoticon
    4317 days ago
    Thanks for posting....this has summed up alot of what I have felt. Thanks for putting it into words for me. Making me see that I am important too and need to allow myself to shine. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!
    4317 days ago
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