October 28, 2002

My Letter to the World

“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 does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure about you. We were born to 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.”

(this was a part of Nelson Mandela’s Inaugural speech, it is an excerpt from Marianne Williamson's A Return to Love)

So, I was asked last night, what is it that holds me back from being "the leader that is so obvious to others" that I am. This shook me. Hard. To have someone who barely knows me, call me to the mat like this - it hit me in the chest like a .12 gauge shotgun blast. Then I really thought about it. What is it about me that holds me back? I was about to jump in and make excuses - I stopped myself. What was I doing? What in the hell was I about to tell myself? That I am not the leader, I am not the power that this person saw? That there really is nothing here? That I am really just a shell? That I am a woman, and hell, no one will listen to me anyway? What the hell? I looked at the person quizzically and said, "I do not know."

I started to look at that. Why didn't I know? I found the answer. As silly and as ugly and as nasty as that answer was, I looked at it. I looked at it long and hard: I was afraid of - Failure. Ah, yes, the 2 F words, Fear and Failure. I couldn't even wrap my mind around it to say it. The word hurt so deeply it seemed to cut me to the bone. I started to tear up a little. My god, how could such a simple question bring me to tears? Oh yeah - it must be PMS - I am due to start my period this weekend. No. That is not it. It is deeper than that. This is something that I decided a long, long time ago. Something, perhaps, that I decided about when I was a toddler. I decided that I would not be a failure - it hurt too much. It hurt too much to have someone be disappointed in me. It hurt to have people think of me as over zealous, and not clear thinking. It hurt for them to think of me as a failure. So because of all of this hurt, I created a fear. Yeah - OK so this isn't ground breaking - but hey -- this is one hell of a realization. It had become so habitual that I had become blind to it.

Then I got a good look at what my life would be like if I continued on this path: boring. Nothing would ever get done. People would be sitting around (including myself) looking for their leader to step up and take the reins. Dreams would be just that. There would be no reality to them. They would be stagnate. There would be nothing. No real life. If there's no real life - then all there is left, is death.

In my avoidance of failure - I was killing Life! not the living breathing sense - but the sparkle - the brilliance, that which makes us get up and dance for no particular reason! The part that makes us want to walk up to our neighbor and tell them that it is a beautiful day! The force that compels us to take off and look for something we have never seen before! How could I want to kill that?!?!?!? WHY? What was I afraid of? Falling flat on my face? So, What if I did fall flat on my face? Does that mean the end of the world? That I could not get back up? Did it somehow make me of less value, or of no use? How stupid is that?

What has it been like for other people to be with that shell of a person staring back at them? What has it been like for people - to get caught up in my whirlwind of "gonna take over the world" and as soon as I see the possibility, even a hint of failure, I back off - What has it been like for them? What has it been like, for them to have a leader, to have their hopes built up, and then to have that leader and all those hopes just disappear – as if I were made of smoke? What in the hell have I been doing? How have I been being? Then I started thinking about making a difference. Did I want to change this? The stubborn ass in me said “No. I want to stay here, it is safe.” It took me awhile. Then I started thinking about possibilities. I could create the possibility, for myself and my life, of being unbound. OK –That’s pretty good, but it’s not enough. It has a sort of negative feeling – this is bigger than that. I could create the possibility, for myself and my life, of being successful. Sounds good, but I took a long hard look at that. If I made the declaration to myself to be successful – God that would be just as boring as protecting myself from failure. Always succeeding – never any fluctuation in life, always high. Blech! No! That isn’t what I want! I want to move people! I want to inspire them! I am making a difference in this world! This world is mine, it just doesn’t know it yet! I am a force to be reckoned with! I am a storm, and I have a name! This is my life, and by God I revel in it, because it is MINE!

So, the possibility that I have created for myself and my life, is the possibility of being a mover and a shaker. What does a person who is a mover and a shaker look like? What is the vision? A person who is a mover and a shaker
is an earthquake. An earthquake shakes the very foundations of everything and everyone around them. They make a difference everywhere they go. Earthquakes, by their own nature, they do what they are intended to do – they literally change the face of the earth. They create lands, rivers, and habitats. They also destroy some lands,
rivers, and habitats, but even in that destruction, new life starts. So in that model – what is a mover and a
shaker? A person who has successes AND failures. The failures themselves become successes, because something always comes out of them. They make a difference. Even if they hit rock bottom – hell rock bottom is just a place to turn around!

A mover and a shaker revels in doing what they do best. They take on what scares them, and they run with it – perceived failures or successes, they just run with it. It is theirs, and they don’t give it up. The mover and the shaker in my mind stands on a cliff above jagged rocks. And instead of finding the easy way down – this person gleefully jumps to the ground. They fear at first, that they have failed to live, the ground rushing up to them. Then their wings unfold, and they take off. That is me.

Hello world, I am a mover and a shaker. I am here to make a difference in the very face of you.

And so now I ask you. What’s holding you back?

Posted by Sara at October 28, 2002 9:02 AM