My Favourite Quote

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.”

-Marianne Williamson, A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, Harper Collins, 1992. From Chapter 7, Section 3 (Pg. 190-191).

Reading Williamson’s quote, for the first time and realizing how often I had dimmed my own light in order to let another’s shine was difficult to admit and more so difficult (and still is) to stop.

I did not ask myself, who was I to be brilliant gorgeous, talented and fabulous, but rather, I criticized, butchered and self sabotaged any of my attempts to be. Playing small, protected me and kept others from emotionally hurting me at a comfortable distance. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you, protected me, once again, from others who indulged in stripping away my emotional defenses and once raw, delighted in tearing at my emotional skin. We were meant to shine, as children do, I grew up with children should be seen, seldom if possible and never heard.

Then, surprisingly, as the years progressed, I grew up emotionally and continue to do so.

You are a child of God, and yes, truly I am. And I was, born to manifest the glory of God that is within us, for to hinder or ignore HIS glory would be to deprive myself of a wonderful gift that was freely given to me. I will let my own light shine, although there are times when the output may fluctuate between 25-150 watts, but nonetheless, it will shine.  And, as I celebrate my own light so will others around me for joy is infectious, unless one has been inoculated.

I continue to struggle with liberation from my own fears and eventually, I will get there.

Feeling mattered vs Feeling needed

At one time, I thought feeling mattered and feeling needed were the same, just different wording. Well, along with the wording feeling mattered and feeling needed are different.

Feeling needed is dependency.
My mom depends on me to help with lifting heavy objects, I, in turn feel needed or am needed.    

Feeling needed can be a good thing. 
Who does not want or need to feel special and depended upon?

Feeling needed can be a bad thing.
Who wants to deal with stress and emotional strangulation when you cannot fulfill the needs of another?

Feeling mattered is to contribute.
Without my typing skills, the paper would not be completed. I, alone with my typing contribution made an impact on the publication.

Feeling mattered is a good thing.
Who does not like feeling like the ‘King of the World’ at times?

Feeling mattered can be a bad thing.
What happens when the feeling mattered feelings do not happen as often as we would like?

Feeling needed gives us purpose and allows us to love others, at times, above ourselves. Feeling mattered does an ego good and allows us self worth and pride.

The Silent One

Our society, in just about every profession or social engagement only hears those who boast the loudest and ignore those who remain silent.  This is especially true when ‘ good deeds done  or charitable works for others are involved.

There are those who grab and hang onto the BULLHORNS (those who brag too loudly) to announce their good deeds to the world.
Yes, I donated $1000 to the such and such fund and plan to donate another grand to that other such and such fund. And, did I mention I also gave such and such fund over $500 dollars last year.

Others boast in a whisper (you know who they are), not to be associated with the ‘BULLHORNS’ but nonetheless making sure their good deeds are known.
Oh, I see my name is in the brochure. How thoughtful of them to recognize my contribution. Oh yes, we give every year and will continue to do so. Well we withheld our contribution two years ago after I noticed we weren’t mentioned in the brochure.

Yet, others diligently and quietly (they have no need to say anything at all), carry out their good deeds.
** silence**

I have the privilege of knowing one who is a ‘BULLHORN’ and another who is ‘silent’.

Which one do you think has my respect and admiration?

Not the ‘BULLHORN’!

The ‘silent’ one does carpentry, plumbing and handy man jobs at our church and he does not charge for his work or hours put in. Yes, his work is free. The ‘silent’ one is a quiet soul who usually thinks well and hard before speaking and views his work as a pledge to the church’s ministry- meaning, he gives of his heart through his hands what he cannot give of his wallet in dollars and cents.

I volunteered to assist the ‘silent’ one for two days on a carpentry project at our church. His serene attitude towards the scope of the work at hand, attention to detail, enthusiasm and getting the job done correctly was infectious. The work was hard, and he took the time to explain the tools of the trade, measurements, and techniques. I was sore, had trouble standing after the first day of work but the feeling of accomplishment and joy within the work environment outweighed the pain. I was satisfied spiritually, intellectually, and felt my contribution had more of an impact than at my so-called paying part-time job.

So I thank the ‘silent’ one for reaffirming in my sometimes doubtful mind that there are good people out there who share my faith but also are role models for giving to others unselfishly without the ‘BULLHORN’.

Forgiveness

Phyllis Ferguson, mother of the Chardon High School shooting victim Demetrius Hewlin, told ABC News that if she had the chance to talk to suspected gunman T.J. Lane, “I would tell him I forgive him because, a lot of times, they don’t know what they’re doing. That’s all I’d say.” (ABC news site)

This interview appeared on a TV network news broadcast. Phyllis Ferguson, whose son was murdered, spoke these words calmly and serenely. Her stoic presence along with the impact of her words affected my usual nonchalant reaction to what I deemed as yet another ‘sensationalism take on a news story’. Instead of changing the channel, I sat on my couch, watched the remainder of the interview, and cried.

Ferguson’s son, Demetrius, along with several other students, was shot while socializing amongst friends in their school’s cafeteria. Some of the students survived while Demetrius and two others died in the hospital. The apprehended gunman, a student also at the same school is now awaiting trial.

The crime was horrific, the scars left on the survivors, and those who knew the victims are incomprehensible in my view.  I have not lost someone to a violent crime and pray it will not happen. The teenage gunman, acted alone, heartless and calculatingly cruel in his decision to arrive at school that day with the knowledge he would terminate and cripple lives. Who made him GOD? What right did, He, posses to execute and extinguish lives? The entitlement and judgment were his alone and I feel anger towards him, balancing on hatred, without the knowledge of his background story. I am judging a person I do not know.

A mother lost her son to murder and had justification to hate the shooter and to speak ill of him and his family. Instead of doing so, Phyllis Ferguson chose to not let hate fester within her. She chose to forgive and in doing so allowed the memories of her son to remain pure in her heart not overshadowed by hatred or worse yet, to allow the hatred to fester within the memories of her son. Now when she reflects on her son, she can relate to pure memories instead of memories tainted of her son with the afterthought of the shooter.

I admire Phyllis Ferguson, for her strength, courage and faith. Her actions, in a time of emotional trauma exemplify true Christianity. Thank you Phyllis Ferguson and God Bless.

“I taught Demetrius not to live in the past, to live in today and forgiveness is divine. You have to forgive everything. God’s grace is new each and every day”.-Phyllis Ferguson

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