I wrote a poem yesterday that I really loved. I shared it with a group of fellow writers, and they loved it, too. Afterwards, I became shy and awkward about it and couldn’t write anything I liked for the rest of the day.
What is this all about? My dream is to share my writing with the world. But this is the very dream that I shy away from the most. What paradoxical creatures we human beings are! The Marianne Williamson quote could not be more on point:
“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 doesn’t serve the world. There’s 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’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
This is not about being the best poet, or the best writer, or the best whatever in the world. This is about letting our own, unique strengths shine through. I think we sometimes shy away from owning our own power because we are afraid that we will be too much, take up too much space, seem arrogant or overbearing. But, as Williamson says, no one is served by our “playing small” in our lives. The world needs us to live large, dream big, and work to be the most enlightened and empowered versions of ourselves that we can be.
So this is what I did today: I pledged to myself that I will start sharing my writing more widely. I will continue to submit my work for publication; and I will also begin sharing my poems and stories with friends and colleagues. This is my first step toward living large, toward sharing my gifts with the world. What will your first step be?