“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.”
Besides the many stirring things Ms. Williamson says in this quote, one of the most inspiring is her reference to children.
The older I get, the younger I want to be. (Not chronologically – I don’t want to revisit those dreaded high school years or be back in my 20’s trying to figure out who I am again. Oh the drama!)
I’m talking about recapturing the essence of youth, which is really locating the eternal child within each of us.
So many great world teachers talk about returning to child-like innocence. Why? Because children are not in a state of developed ego. They don’t let the cynical, fearful, habituated, negative way of seeing the world contaminate their reality. Which is wonder, excitement, mystery, possibility, play.
And that’s where all the creative work comes from: in-the-moment, not tied to results, not worrying about how you look or what you’re going to get out of it. Like how kids play.
When I was in the 5th grade I’d re-enact episodes of Charlie’s Angels for no other reason than the joy of playing. (Well, OK, I did love Farrah Fawcett’s feathered hair and if I was going to re-enact a show, I wanted to be in the one I thought was the most glamorous on TV.)
But the point is, that boundless, nonjudgmental, childlike creativity is inherent to us. Forever.
We haven’t lost these qualities just because we’ve gained 10 pounds or turned 30 or have gray hair or feel that our lives are at a standstill.
Let this year, then, be a year of tapping into that truth. That to be child-like isn’t to be childish. It’s to be hopeful, innocent, awed and appreciative.
How you used to be. And somewhere within you, you still are.