It’s true: The best gifts are often free. With the holiday season upon us, I wanted to share with you one of the most moving passages I’ve ever read.
It reappeared in front of me recently as a wonderful surprise when I discovered an inspiring letter from days gone by.
The letter had been sent to me by a team member while I was a manager in the corporate world. We’ll call him Peter. Peter had just completed his contract and was thanking me for the support I’d given him during a rough period of time in the team.
While I’m not including here what Peter wrote, I am including this beautiful passage he attached to the end of his letter:
“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.”
This is an excerpt from the book Return to Love – A Reflection on the Principles of a Course in Miracles by Marianne Williamson. Nelson Mandela also delivered these words in a speech.
How does that make you feel?
I treasure such letters, most of us do. Someone took time out of their day to express appreciation. Most people don’t do that.
I’d appreciated and loved this letter and passage 16 years ago. I love it even more today. Why? Life experience has made me even more appreciative. While I’ve always loved and cared for people, having children created more of a passion.
There is more to this passage than at first glance; this is a deep message.
It’s both inspiring and a challenge at the same time.
Are you playing small?
I believe Peter wanted in turn, to inspire me. When I read these words now, I realize how prophetic they are.
I’d grappled with playing small for many years, yet didn’t know that’s what I was doing. You may discover that too.
It was no coincidence finding this letter and passage again because I feel that every day I comprehend more fully THE FUTILITY OF PLAYING SMALL.
As it turns out, the core message of my book is to:
“Let your OWN light shine…
Become a LIGHT TO THE WORLD,
leading the way for others to do the same…”
They are on the back of my book.
Inspiration is a gift
If the words in that passage fill you with dreams and possibility, then do these beautiful words justice and allow them to move in your life.
My suggestion is print them and read them aloud for maximum effect. Perhaps share this at dinner to inspire your family and friends especially as they prepare for their new year ahead. Inspiration is an eternal gift.
Share it with at least one friend or colleague. Allow the words to resonate through your being. They are truly moving.
Expressing appreciation is also a beautiful gift
I’m sharing this story for another reason.
When you take the time to thank someone it means so much. You both reap huge rewards.
By expressing gratitude you move into even more of the fabulous and your letter of appreciation will in turn inspire – more than you’ll ever know.
If you’re ever moved to send someone a thank you letter, don’t second-guess it or ponder it.
JUST DO IT!