Saturday, January 31, 2009

Change Can Liberate Us: Marianne Williamson

“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? ...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 are all meant to shine, as children do. ... 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

I have been saving this one for last...This quote is often attributed to Nelson Mandela, but Marianne Williamson actually said it.  I'm not sure if it is from one of her lectures or if she actually wrote it in one of her books.  I know it doesn't have the WORD "change" in it - but it is about changing how we present ourselves to the world.

I have written here before about how Marianne Williamson and her lectures helped me through Roby's death.  Her style, her perspectives, the information still resonates with me , even though I don't necessarily listen to her on a daily basis.

When you read the quote, think about all the ways that we "play small" in a day.  I still do it sometimes.  We deflect compliments, downplay our strengths, include others in our accomplishments so that they won't feel bad, so that we won't feel guilty, so that people won't think, "Wow, s/he has a big head."  I think there is a way to be proud of ourselves and feel good about ourselves, our accomplishments or whatever without lording it over people.  

As an interpreter, we work in this mentality of scarcity (by the way, I looked this word up and while it is spelled correctly according to Webster's, it looks weird).  There is always a fear that we will not get enough work, that we won't get that all day job.  I know that the ACTUAL amount of work has changed due to VRS and people taking on more full-time jobs, but I see the mentality is still there.  Interpreters taking as much work as possible because you never know what is going to happen next week.   

What I have learned and what I was trying to practice before taking a full time job was that there is enough work to go around.  There is enough space in the world for us all to shine where we can, and to figure out/learn to shine in the areas where we would like to shine.  My shining shouldn't take away from YOUR ability to shine - it should serve as an example of what is possible.  I love that what is POSSIBLE is endless.  I don't read a well-written book and think, "Well, now they are a great author, so I never could be.  There isn't enough space for another good author."  What it really means is WOW!! Another great author - that means people will be looking for someone to read after... Another good interpreter!  Excellent - that means I will have someone great to work with if I can work at that level.

I'm feeling a little rambly now, so I'm going to stop.  Hopefully, my intention is there, regardless of the mess I made in explaining it.

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