Thursday, May 11, 2006

Liberation From Fear

''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 God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are 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."
Marianne Williamson

Not sure what my fear is. There IS fear, I know that. Just not always able to figure out what it is. I suspect it is related to feelings of powerlessness and the inability to guarantee the outcomes of situations and events in my life. This fear can be so paralyzing sometimes, and erodes my self-confidence, my ability to be myself, let my light shine. What if I let it shine, and I give all of me, and it leads to an outcome I don't want? There's just too much risk. So I linger in fear and worry.

Once upon a time I gave all of me. And it was rejected. Repeatedly. By more than one person, all of them significant to my sense of self. One key way 2 of these people rejected me was by keeping themselves apart from me. Denying me their time, company, attention, presence. And it cut me pretty badly, and made a lasting impression, maybe even a scar. But the sad fact is that it wounds badly, hurts dreadfully when I'm forced to be apart from loved ones.

Sometimes it's a physical distance, sometimes it's emotional distance. Sometimes it's just the distance of not talking or communicating, being left wondering, or just in ignorance until things are revealed later. All of it hurts me. Is this something I'll ever get over? Then again, is it something I have to get over? Is it so bad to want/desire closeness? Physical presence, emotional intimacy? I'm not talking about sex. That's so easy. And sure, it's important. But it's one part, the other pieces are important too. It's so hard to feel like I'm on the outside, looking in, longing to be included.

No, I can't have my own way all the time. But does that mean that my needs are of lesser importance? What happens as dissatisfaction grows? How do I put my needs first, and take care of me, when that conflicts with what those I'm in relationship with need and want?

I suspect there will continue to be no easy answers for these fears and feelings I've wrestled with for so long. I don't have the right to expect or demand that others behave the way I want them to. And I think there's a possibility that respecting someone else's boundary can have too great a price for my own well-being. What happens then?

Who am I not to be brilliant? Who am I not to be all that I can be? I don't know. I want to know. I don't know how yet though.


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