I read this quote a few years ago but I came across it again this morning.
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 doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us…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.” – Nelson Mandela
This speaks to me very deeply. For example, I have this blog and I really really enjoy writing. But I am scared to share it with my family! In fact, I told 2 of my 4 sisters that I have a blog and WordPress notified me in the recent past that I hit 50 posts. They weren’t aware that I had a blog! And they were very impressed that I had written as much as I have…I don’t believe I’ve written anything that will necessary last throughout all time but I try very hard to write things that aren’t a waste of time. I shared with one of my sisters that I am scared to link my facebook to my blog because (and this makes no sense) yes I have a blog and yes I want people to read my blog but I am scared that if I share my blog to my friends on facebook people might actually read it. As in, people I know. I love all the people that read my blog and follow it but it’s different having strangers read something and people that actually know you and therefore have opinions about you. A lot of people that know me I feel like have a pre-conceived notion about me and blogging and being a photographer would not match that opinion therefore they will write me off or dismiss me as a creative person and as much as I say I don’t care what people think about me and as much as I say my manta “be fierce” in my head there is a small part of me that thinks “maybe they’re right.” I love what one of my sister’s told me when I shared this illogical thought process “a blog doesn’t have to be an academic paper.” she told me. This is mine. And it doesn’t have to be perfect because I am definitely not perfect.
Back to the Nelson Mandela quote, I love where he says “there’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you” I’ve always felt to a degree that I intimidate people. I’ve always felt that I am misunderstood. But maybe I feel that way because I put on a mask and I don’t be myself fully around people. One of my dearest friends told me that I am “disarmingly intelligent” and to this day that is one of the best compliments I have ever received. To this day I get annoyed if someone compliments how I look or what I’m wearing. Don’t compliment the outside, compliment me. But most people don’t even know how to give a compliment that esteems someone for who they are…
there is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you
There is fear involved in fully being yourself, maskless. Why is it that we humans shrink so that we won’t make others insecure? It’s an interesting observation. I fear writing my blog and being a creative and not being heard but I also fear being heard. It’s illogical. I want to be successful, but at the same time I am scared of being successful. “Your playing small does not serve the world.” Playing small does not serve the world. Or yourself for that matter. “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.”
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
I just love this so much. It just says to me you are fierce, so be fierce. You are a child of God, He made you to be “brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous!” Be that. Be fearless. This reminds me of the book I read that I shared in a previous post. The thesis of that book was that being creative is deeply spiritual. The Creator created us to be creative, therefore it can be an act of worship to be creative and to make art. It can be a labor of love. It can be our purpose to be creative in whatever capacity that entails for you…which if it is our purpose to be creative wouldn’t that imply to not be creative is sin? Oh dear, I worry I am getting too theological now. Let’s wrap this post up before it dives down more rabbit holes! “We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us…” Yes. That’s reiterating what I just said about the Creative Call, which is a fantastic book if you want to read something about being a creative person. “…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.”
We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us…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.
Let your light shine. Break through the fear. As you liberate yourself from your own fear, others will take notice and that will automatically help to liberate others. Gollee, I love this. Be fierce, be fierce, be fierce. Don’t fear. Liberate yourself. As pathetic as it sounds, a way for me to liberate myself from the fear of being brilliantly creative is to share on my personal facebook that I have this blog. Let others read it, their negative opinions be damned.
I pray that this blog post made sense to you and perhaps in some small way inspired you to pursue being an artist, a creative, whatever it is that you were made to do. I shared in a previous post that I experienced something that said THIS is what I was made to do…and I’m still stepping into that space.