You may have noticed on my profile the statement: “I love to encourage women to do whatever makes them ‘fully alive’.”(Or men, for that matter... but my primary focus is women’s ministry!)

By “fully alive” I don’t mean thrills for thrills’ sake... I mean the deeper joy of stepping into vocation... of making a difference in the world in one’s own unique, God-given shape.

I heard the following reading at church recently, and thought I’d quote it here, because it captures poetically something of the beauty of a person who is living “fully alive”:

“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.”

(A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson.)

I’d be interested in your reflections on this one!


Wonderful post, Janet. I think it is true that we are more afraid of success than failure.
However, I think that our success also frightens other people and they tend to try to impede our efforts. This can be very frustrating. I wonder how much potential goes to waste because some people think a woman with a mind and talent is too scary? Or is it jealousy, I wonder...
Anyway, thanks for the encouragement!
Janet Woodlock said…
Oh you're right of course. This poem was actually made most famous by Nelson Mandela, (it's often attributed to him) and we know what happened to him... 27 years in jail!

And of course, we know what happened to Jesus, the most courageously uncompromising, shining human ever, and the example for all of us to follow... he was demonised and crucified.

It seems some people love darkness rather than light, to use Jesus' analogy.

The high road is to bless your enemies, and shine anyway... and sometimes to wipe the dust off our feet and leave a place where the gatekeepers shut people down. All of this is easier said than done for we broken, fallen human beings... but the Spirit can pick us up and get us shining again.

I've been wanting to post on your blog, but my home computer is currently not letting me log on to anything... any computer advice welcome!!!! Very frustrating.

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