“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 does not serve the world.
There is 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 are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
– Marianne Williamson
This is one of my favorite quotes. It is often attributed to Nelson Mandela. But it was actually Marianne Williamson who wrote this in her book, A Return to Love.
I kept a copy of this quote in front of me as I worked on my memoir. I read it when I doubted my story mattered. I read it when my mother’s words ran through my head, “I don’t know why you’re bothering,” she said. “Who wants to read about our family? Go ahead and write your book. Just don’t expect anybody to read it.” I read it to when I needed to lean into the light in order to release the darkness of my past.
And I read it again this morning to remind myself to play big, to be brilliant, talented and fabulous as I look for an agent and publisher for my #memoir.
By giving myself permission to tell my story, I’m now able to encourage others to share theirs. As Maya Angelou said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.”
What story do you need to set free? And if not now, when?