“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.”
—-from A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson.
The truth in this poem cannot be emphasized, or repeated enough. I remember the first time I read it, I thought it was deep. Then I watched Coach Carter for the first time; I have watched it again numerous times; and I cried … and yes I cry every time. I didn’t quite apply it to my life until recently. I can recite it flawlessly, but it was just a deep poem, by Marianne Williamson, which has been incorrectly attributed to Nelson Mandela.
I read it again, and I watched a clip of Cruz from the movie, on YouTube; and yes I teared up a little (I’m emotional like that), anyhow my point is this, it finally hit home for me, I’ve been hiding my light under a bushel. I called it shyness, when in fact what it was, is that I had allowed the world to determine how I looked at myself, instead of focusing on how God looks at me.
Writing is a passion of mine and has been for years. At the high school I attended, we were not allowed to bring novels to school. If you were interested in some extra curricular reading, you had to make do with what was in the school library. I am an avid reader, so by my second year of high school, I had read all the novels in the library. So I started to write my own. A few others in my class also started writing, and pretty soon, we had about two or three novels each in circulation. It felt good whenever someone would come up to me and talk about my book. During my third year of High school, I was asked to write the Christmas play for our church. It gave me a chance to combine two things I absolutely love, writing, and music. The writing process was fun, the production part of it not so much; actors can be such divas *le sigh*. That was when I first started to question my talent as a writer, if my vision couldn’t translate onto stage; I clearly was not clicking with my audience.
A few years later, a friend of mine, asked if I was interested in writing a column for a weekly magazine she was editing. Just to be clear, when God says his ways are not our ways;
Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (KJV)
I had never once mentioned to her that I write; he means just that. After my fist article was published, she called me to let me know that she had received a very vitriolic email, questioning her decision to not only let me write a column, but to go right ahead and publish it. The writer of the email went further to include some scathing jibes to my person. I was done, and I told her as much. She managed to convince me to keep going, so I did. I wrote a few more articles, and it felt good. Seeing my articles in print, and knowing I had worked hard to bring the subject matter to life, was very rewarding.
However that season ended, and I haven’t written seriously since. I have started several articles, I even started work on a book, and I’ve had a couple of blogs, each one lasting for a brief moment. I have many ideas that I need to put down, but every time I sat down to write, I would start thinking about whether or not it was worth it, did I want to deal with the opinions of people who thrived on tearing others down? Did I really want to put myself out there, in the line of fire literally? Was I even good enough to write for anyone other than my audience of one? This of course dried up the creative juices, faster than ink dries on paper. I was then left with, an unwritten article, a book that’s crying out to be written but that I haven’t can’t quite get myself to fully commit to, a blog that I can’t even remember the title or password to, and another I deleted.
In the past year, I’ve been learning to see myself as God sees me, because he knew me even before I was an itch in my dad’s pants.
Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. (AMP)
I realised that I had allowed the world to determine how I saw myself, when in fact; I should have been looking at myself through my Father’s eyes.
My Father who created me, who loves me absolutely, unequivocally, unconditionally and without reservation. My Father whose plans for me are always for good and never for evil. I should see myself through his eyes. I will admit though, that there have been times when it has been easier said than done, but I’m learning to reign in the negativity. I have broken out of the box that I had allowed the world to force me into. I have begun to live, and be what my Father intended. I am learning to shine without reservation, because I am a reflection of my Father’s love for me.