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 frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' 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 people won't feel insecure around you. 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 all of us. And when 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.~ Maryanne Williams ~
I believe Nelson Mandala quoted the above in his inauguration speech. How moving and profound are these words. It is indeed difficult to let our own light shine.
I often find myself belittling my own talents. I am prone to believing that if I am good at something, it must be so easy that anyone could do it. (Of course that can lead to impatience with those of lesser abilities, my mental dialogue often sounds like this: "argh, how can this person not 'get it', this is child's play for heaven's sake!") But I am getting much better at recognizing my own talents and trying to share them, rather than assuming I have nothing of value to share. We can more easily share our gifts if we acknowledge that we have something worth sharing in the first place!
On a more selfish note, I am also learning to accept a compliment gracefully. I had showed my Valentine entry to Valerie and (after telling me that I can talk about her behind her back anytime I want) she said that she happens to think I'm pretty amazing myself. My normal reaction would be to brush such a compliment off as undeserved, but I am not doing that anymore. I am going to accept the kind words and just feel good about it. Because who am I not be amazing?! And when I feel good about myself, I have more strength and energy to share with others.
Let your light shine too.