That's one of those quotes that's easy to say "right!" to and then go on as if it weren't true at all. At least it is for me. I have a deep-seated fear of being big, too big, so big that I don't fit in, that I am alone. I came by it honestly. My mother, wanting to make sure I wasn't spoiled, often warned me about getting "too big for my britches," being a "queen bee," and the hazards of "book learning" over common sense. She was very careful not to compliment me so that it didn't go to my head. At least I assume that she was being careful ... maybe she just didn't see anything to compliment. More likely it was her own fear of inadequacy which covered her own fear of being powerful, so powerful she would be left alone. And I feared being too big, too smart, too powerful, too successful and losing her love and being alone.
It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.
We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?"
Actually, who are you not to be?...
As we let our light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others."
-- Marianne Williamson, "A Return to Love"
So now when compliments do come in, I dismiss them as just people being kind and wanting to make me feel good. They can't possibly be "true." Diane in her blog Contemplative Photographer calls them the "yes, buts." Yes, but ... my art doesn't count since no one's buying it. Yes, but ... my writing doesn't count because it's non-fiction. Yes, but ... my spiritual life doesn't count because I don't meditate every day. Yes, but ... I'm not powerful because I'm not in charge of anyone or anything. I could go on but I'm even boring myself.
I reread Marianne's statement with a nervous laugh: We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?" I'm not sure I could even say those words without feeling like a fraud. But, how would I feel if my friends made that statement? I'd think, "Right on! You go, girl!" I'd be happy that they had finally recognized their brilliance ... and I would truly feel inspired to recognize mine.
Maybe we should all make a pact ... call it the BTGF (Brilliant, Talented, Gorgeous and Fabulous) Pact ... if all of us started living up to our full selves, just think what power we'd spread in the world. Think about it.
About the image: This thrift store mannequin in Lafayette, CO, called to me and this morning she showed up as the Blue Lady (after a lot of photoshop makeup).