I remember hearing a shortened version of this beautiful poem from a moving scene in the movie Coach Carter.
The full version is actually taken from author, speaker, and activist Marianne Williamson’s (who’s also running as a 2020 Democratic nominee for Presidency) poem “Our Deepest Fear” from her book Return to Love. Incredibly moving words that ring close to one of my favorite verses, Matthew 5:14-16:
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Her words touch on that theme, along with the consequences, on how shining one’s light liberates both ourselves and others.
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’s 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’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
Author: Marc Nozell
Source: Wikimedia Commons