So before I share this particular inspiration, I will just say it's exactly what I needed right now. I was lucky enough to get to talk with not one but two of my soulmate-friends (Joseph & Hannah) this morning, and I heard myself wondering aloud with both of them What's next? I feel stuck but I'm fairly certain it's my own fear keeping me stuck. Even knowing it's me holding me back isn't enough to get me unstuck though - and that's the problem.
This quote from Marianne Williamson - on a handout from last year's Passover celebration at Joel & Melissa's - really spoke to where I'm at and what I'm struggling with. Joel & Melissa prepared a beautiful, progressive seder and this reading is from a section called "The Four Adults" that is a response to the traditional seder section called "the Four Children." It is a way of reminding us how much we have to learn from youth by describing four types of adults: angry adult, ashamed adult, fearful adult, compassionate adult. We are reminded that to create a just world, with children and people who are wise, we need to learn from all of these adults. They all dwell inside each of us and we can only truthfully struggle for justice with an open heart, if we let ourselves hear the lessons of all of them.
Marianne Williamson brings us the teaching for the ashamed adult. She writes:
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 G-d. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of G-d 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 others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Now, I'll be the first to say I have a gut reaction when I read about G-d in any piece of writing; and while my own "faith" struggles with a G-d concept, what resonates in this for me is the idea that our goodness and good work could bring out more of that in others, in the world. Our fear & shame holds us back, but when we embrace our power and our path ("destiny" if you believe in that sort of thing), not only do we experience freedom, but we free others as well.
I am going to meditate on this idea tonight. I want to see if I have any more courage than I had this morning, as my voice shook and made excuses in response to not one but two friends telling me You are free. You are not stuck.
I want to discover what is really filling with me fear. I wonder, is the fear of my own possibility what is really keeping me stuck?