Do you ever experience those moments in life when you are desperately clinging to something, anything, yet at the same time watching it vanish from that very grasp? Yeah, me too.
Actually, I had one of those mind blowing, life changing moments just the other day. Okay, okay. It wasn’t that extreme. But it was a massive perspective shift.
A question I came out of that experience with was “What if the thing I was so desperately clinging to was actually holding me back in life?”
“What if the things all of us hold on to for dear life, do just that, hold us back? What if?”
Whoa. Mic drop. Cue credits. End scene.
Do YOU think this could be true? And why? What could possibly keep us grasping at this safe, nothingness?
Alright, could I be so bold for a sec as to answer my own question quick? Is that a thing? Yah? Cool.
It’s fear. Fear is what holds us back. It’s that insidious, hidden motivator for so many of our decisions in life. And I abso-freakin’-lutely believe that.
Below is an excerpt of my favorite quote by the goddess Marianne Williamson. She talks a little about fear. Take what you will from it.
“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? ”
Oof. M. W. How good you say it.
So…Fear. That’s a real thing, yah? And I wholeheartedly understand this quote may not be applicable to all fear. And to everyone. But it is soooooooo relevant for many of my own experiences in life. I ask myself all of the time, “Who am I to ask for higher pay? Who am I to want to go out on a Friday night instead of watching Gotham for the 17th time with my boyfriend? Who am I to want to have freedom and love and build a life for myself which makes me happy?”
Well, who am I not to be?!
Ugh…Okay… Wait. That kind of feels like a loaded question.
What do you think? To me, asking “who am I not” feels foreign and scary. I like safety and certainty. Plus, the life I’ve been leading thus far has done me a few solids in my day. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely not been all sunshine and roses but at least I know it. It feels safe and warm and comfortable. Come to think of it, I kind of like it. My old life. My never questioning “Who am I not to be?”
Back to the point. Clearly, the thing I am so desperately clinging to at this moment is my past. But why?
Easy. Fear. Fear of failure. Fear of inadequacy. Fear of not living the life I was “destined to live”. The list goes on and on.
And this feeling doesn’t feel good but it’s what I know. And recently, it hit again… hard. The familiar fear feelings of anxiety, claustrophobia, safety and actual fear alllll crept back in at the same time, mind you. I believe my exact stream of thought was “I’ve lived in this place for too long. I’m getting the two year relationship itch. I’m starting to create a career that I love, which gives me the good scary feelings of tingles and excitement. But crap. I need to bolt. I need to get out of here. My life feels too stable. Too manicured. Too…”
Do you ever get that negative, downward spiral of thought surrounding the stories we tell ourselves? You know what I’m talking about. The kind where you can’t have a logical conversation to save your life because you’re too stuck in your own story about fear, or what have you, and what that might mean about EVERYTHING. No space to even ask the question “Is that true?” That is 100% what I was experiencing. And I just word vomited it to you. You’re welcome. 🙂 But I digress.
Okay. So. Revisiting these questions of “Who am I…” and “Who am I not to be?” a day or two later, gives me a muuuuuch different perspective. I’m actually curious, now, as to what might live in those old feelings and behaviors that beckons “Who am I not to step into a new, uncertain and maybe scary at times, light and power?”
Well, I’m an imperfect person who is used to experiencing panic along with thrill. Anger alongside adventure. Stress and scarcity hand in hand. And more unhappiness and uncertainty than I am comfortable admitting.
So there. There’s my who am I not to.
But is it really?
Here’s the rest of Marianne’s quote,
“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 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.”
That was the rest of her quote. In all its glory.
I think Marianne just answered my question for me.
I don’t glorify that old life anymore. I still recognize it as mine but it doesn’t feel quite right.
But you know what does?
My life right now. It oddly matches up with how I want to feel: Infinite Love. Fiery Passion. Abundant Joy. Unabashed Courage. Tranquilly Rooted. Divinely Feminine. And abso-freakin-lutely Limitless.
Wow. None of those feelings equate to fear. They equate to totality. And inner peace. So now, I guess the question begs,”Who am I not to want stability and connection? Who am I not to want to feel freaking limitless with everything in life? Who am I not to want all of the joy and passion my heart can muster?!”
Who are any of us not to?
My greatest hope is that you were able to take something from that quote. Anything. Or not. You be you. I just know every time I look to it, I feel a fervor within me, excited about all my new possibilities.
And Marianne, my take away from you today is that I’m not afraid of what I could be, anymore. It may creep in from time to time. But I’m not afraid of what I could be because I’m going to be it. I’m living it right now. And it is shaping up to be one heck of a powerful beyond all measure, light infused ride.
So, thank you.
Hugs and high fives,