This week something interesting happened to me. My friend Karen made a gift for someone, and they absolutely loved it. Her friend admired it through a series of ohhs and ahhs, and asked Karen how long did it take to make.
Karen shrugged and said, "Just a few hours" – when in fact I know she spent more than 30 hours working on it. She poured her heart and soul into it. Why then, did she diminish it? Why did she feel the need to lie about how much effort she put into that gift?
I must admit, I gave that question some long, hard thought. I realized I’m guilty of doing the same thing Karen did. I myself followed this same pattern much of my life.
I kept hiding my Light. You know that song, "This Little Light of Mine, I’m Gonna Let It Shine?" I constantly diminished the fact I stopped the cycle of abuse and created an new legacy. How freaking Awesome is that"! Until I could say those words and acknowledge my accomplishment, I still felt stuck and empty inside.
I wonder how many of us are afraid to let our "lights" shine? How many of us hold back a large part of ourselves? I wonder do you too hold back your light?
Maybe we are afraid of the label: "braggart." After all, nobody likes a boastful, prideful person. From a young age, my parents taught us modesty and humility. This in itself is not a bad thing… these are good qualities to develop.
My parents took it to the extreme. It was wrong, actually sinful, to feel good about our accomplishments. They called it pride, one of the seven deadly sins. I’m no stranger to those sins. I am accused of committing every one in my early youth. (you can read more about me here) But where do we draw the line? Are we not allowed to take pride in our own accomplishments at all?
A very big difference does exists between sharing our gifts with the world, and showing off. When I look back across my life, I realize I felt ashamed and embarrassed by my own abilities and strengths. Out of fear, I denied them and hid them at every available opportunity.
If I shared those gifts with the world, it would call attention to me, attention I didn’t feel worthy of accepting. I was also afraid of ridicule and condemnation. If I shared my heart and soul, I would be laughed at, made fun of, told I was wrong, worthless and doomed for hell. Guilt overcame me, afraid of going to hell. My confidence and feelings shoot down with each rejection.
Maybe you too share similar experiences? Do you ever feel of hesitant about sharing your gifts? Do you been hide your light, holding back an essential part of yourself?
How dare we hide our Lights! They are not ours to hide. A loving God of Light gave them to us – the same light that shines within. I learned while in recovery each of us has a little spark of the Divine within. I will admit I found it hard to accept at first. When we deny that part of ourselves, we also deny God within us!
We have a responsibility to share ourselves with the world; not in a way that proclaims us to be better than anyone else, but in a way that uplifts and enriches others. We owe it to ourselves, we owe it to the world, and we owe it to God, the one who gave us our gifts and abilities. What good is a gift that doesn’t get used?
Imagine a flower afraid to bloom, rain afraid to fall, the sun afraid to shine. You need to shift your perspective and realize that by hiding your lights, you do not serving anyone. Love, unexpressed, is not love at all.
I know what it is like to think you own nothing to share. We spend most of our days feeling like an empty shell. However, nothing is truly ever empty. There is a Magical Essence uniquely in you.
Nature abhors a vacuum. Ah, remember that, from Science class? 😉 Though you may feel empty, there is something inside of you. It may be chaos or joy, optimism or pessimism, hope or doubt – but something is there. If you don’t like what it is, you possess the ability to change it by the power of your thoughts.
Know that you do possess something to share with the world. If you will dare to reach down inside your soul,your Magical Essence and feel around for your hidden treasure.
You will find a long forgotten dream tugging at your heart. A sense of excitement you once experienced, a knowingness that you could change the world and make it just a little bit brighter. Reclaim that dream. It never really left you, it just got covered with negative thoughts and false beliefs. Clean it off and set it upon your mantle of hope. Infuse it with new life, and allow it to come into Being.
Remember that you are the only one holding yourself back. Marianne Williamson wrote an awesome poem… Our Deepest Fear. Print it and put it on your wall.
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