This morning, I enjoyed a waffle breakfast at Williams. As I looked around me at the people inside who were also nourishing their bodies with a tempting morsel or refreshing beverage and outside as the people seemed to be hurrying by in their vehicles I wondered.... How many of these people are with someone they love? How many are alone? How many are contemplating some life changing decision? How many are looking forward; looking back? How many are present?
Do any of these people realize what a treasure they are? Do they know they are important to someone somewhere? Do they cherish themselves for no other reason than because they are a gift...a gift to you, to me, to themselves? When you walk down the street and your eyes meet another do you acknowledge that encounter? How many times do we quickly turn our eyes away? How many times do we seize that moment and maybe exchange a smile or a nod? In a world saturated with technology and high energy it is really is important for us to stop for a moment and be present.
Being present doesn’t have to be a daunting exercise but it is important that we each do it each day, even if for only 10 seconds. To just stop and check in with yourself is vital to your psyche – to your soul. It’s a time to make sure you’re being true to yourself. Am I where I feel valued? Am I where I feel love? Am I where I feel a live? Am I where I’m giving as much as I’m taking? By doing this ‘small’ exercise each and every day....we are less likely to find ourselves, several years later s, feeling lost or unimportant; then believing we are trapped or worse....in a state of hopelessness. Checking in with our self is the greatest gift we can give our self.
On a journey to ‘self’ rediscovery we often use terms that refer to “me” and “I”. And while for some that may be interpreted as the solo individual (all about only me), the truth is each of us – as “me” – is a child to someone and that can’t be ignored in one’s view of self. As an individual you may be a sibling, a spouse, parent, friend, mentor....that too is part of what makes you - YOU. It is impossible to ignore all the parts of yourself when you’re trying to find yourself. It would be like trying to ignore the value or purpose of the aorta when trying to heal the heart. The heart has many parts, vena cava, right atrium, left atrium, right and left ventricles as well as the aorta. While they are ‘separate’ they are very much part of the whole. To ignore or not care for one part of the heart in favour of looking after only a single part, will not only impact the other areas of the heart, but it would also put the heart as a whole at risk. One part is no more or less important than the other. The value of the heart is at its highest only when it is whole and functioning at it best.
But.....most of us are afraid. When the questions come at us flying like bullets in some crazy 3D gangster movie, we become lost and confused. Naturally the questions we ask of and to ourselves are not positive in nature. We look in terms of either/or; and make statements liked “What do I have to give up?” or “This is ‘my life’ not yours”. The questions we ask ourselves are polluted with self doubt, worthlessness, not measuring up, critical of our value, the value of others in our lives and what is my worth not only in the lives of others but in our own life. We disbelieve anything positive anyone says to us after all if “I don’t value me, why would they”? That self destructive cycle, for whatever reason, seems to be so easy to start and maintain, then one that builds us up.
A person can look in the mirror and find hundreds of faults about themselves but if that same person were asked to look in that same mirror and find 10 things they liked about themselves; they’d be very uncomfortable. They would struggle. Some would laugh; others cry and some would become angry – if they even stayed long enough to look at that amazing and brilliant person looking back at them. Why is that? The things we think or say to our own image...we’d never say to another person who stood before us and ask “what do I have to offer” or who said “there is nothing good about me”.
Years ago I watched the movie “Akeelah and the Bee”. In the movie a man (Dr Joshua Laraby) sees a gift in a young girl (Akeelah Anderson) trying to make the school’s spelling bee team, but who is afraid to believe in herself. Why is she afraid? Because by being her true and authentic self she will step out of the role others have put her in. Without realizing it, those in ‘charge’ of her have captured Akeelah and limited her potential and worse she has come to believe those limitations rather than the possibilities that await her. At one point Akeelah wants to give up but Joshua asks her to read a quote he has mounted on his wall. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” The discussion they have from that quote is empowering and an amazing journey begins.
I was so moved and intrigued by this part of the movie that I vowed to Googled it. I found the quote. It is the first two lines of composition I’ve come to cherish. Not only have I adopted as part of my personal foundation, but I have also woven it’s essence into everything I do.
Here is it for you to read:
Who am I to be brilliant!
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'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. Marianne Williams
Where ever you are on your life journey, regardless of your religious beliefs; may these words inspire you as much as they have inspired and transformed me. May you find hope, courage and strength to not only be your authentic self but also your BRILLIANT self!
Believing in me, living my dream and hopefully inspiring you to do the same... Carleana
“You can’t believe in a dream, until you can believe in yourself!”