Tuesday, May 02, 2006

frightened by the light?

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 is not just in some of us; it is 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.

From: A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson (used in Nelson Mandela’s May 9, 1994 inaugural speech)

Agree, or disagree?

32 comments:

Cynthia said...

Not that he's the one we want to follow but Tom Cruise once said, "It ain't braggin' if you can do it." He is the #1 box office draw worldwide several years going now. Even if he is a tad bit odd. But would you call his talent and subsequent "success" glorifying to God or inspiring? I'm only using his "success" as an example because I think his comment fits.

I think there is something to being openly fabulous but it should be tempered with a genuine humility that our fab-ness comes from the Almighty God and in one fell swoop we can be brought to our knees. It is His greatness we should glorify not our own. Yet self-deprecation is offensive to the Father. But a broken and contrite heart He will not turn away.

Isn't Marianne Williamson a new-agist?

Angela said...

Its a rather liberating way of think!
Though being humble is impt...its equally impt to realize you are a fablous, stunning child of God. To often, I believe Christian play the inferior card.
Why not play, I am a rockin, stunning child of God?!?!
How, could God use this to further his message....

Lori, once again I love your writing! I wish i could turn this site into a book of short stories for bedtime.
Your one entry, Broken Hearts and Wayward Balloons, seriously brought a tear to my eye....

Tootle Loo!

lorie said...

Thank you, Angela-- I seriously choked up over that balloon...

I'm not sure, Cindy--I'd never heard of her.

I agree with you both that there has to be a balance--an awareness of our utter depravity yet an ability to embrace our royal standing in Christ. (Or, as Angela put it, as a "rockin, stunning child of God!")

The one place I do disagree with her is on letting our OWN light shine... I believe it must be the light of God within us, or it leads people to nothing, and the only permission it grants is to be self-gratifying.

I thought her first two lines were intriguing. I wonder which I TRULY am more afraid of...

Cynthia said...

"I believe it must be the light of God within us, or it leads people to nothing, and the only permission it grants is to be self-gratifying."


BINGO!

lorie said...

Cindy- I was thinking about this again in the light of some of the discussions we've had about "strong" women in the church. I think there is a lot of pressure put on Christian women, in particular, to not be "too much." But if we serve and reflect a BIG God, shouldn't we be encouraged to be BIG, too?

Cynthia said...

People get intimidated by bigness. Especially in the church...there is a fine line. It is hard for me to be objective about this one because I have felt the sting of being "too strong" as a negative thing within my own church community. God and I are still working on my freedom.

lorie said...

I hear ya, sister. I think it is bigger than we think, though. It's not just your experience or mine, it's not just your church or mine-- it's a HUGE issue. Why do you think that is?

angela said...

Well. i may be off base totally, but doesnt it really just go back to the basic thought process where man is suppose to be superior to woman. Especially in the church and really through out history.

Even though its 2006, there is still a power struggle between the genders.

I know, at my own job, there are a lot mini wars among the men vs women. To often, the man tends to win the battles. Overall, the men tend to get away with a lot more.
This often hits a sore spot with the female employees. Yet, year after year it still goes on....

just a few thoughts....time to study!

tootles

Cynthia said...

Lori,

When you look at how women are portrayed in our society, they are either virgins, whores, or bitches. (Look at how Disney portrays women) If you are a strong woman and vocally so, then instead of being seen as a mighty warrior woman of God, we get placed into the "harsh, intimidating, overbearing, brass" category. But if you are virginal, ie; quiet, demure, easy going, laid back, not rockin' the boat then you are considered "virtuous" and the perfect image of womanly christianity..because those traits do not challenge the patriarchal nature of the church.

Good discussion.

Angela said...

good point about the disney flick

personally, I would like to see in a disney flick, the fat females not always portrayed as a villian or dumb-ass. Let the slightly plumb strong female play the role for once.....

Angela said...

Let the slightly plumb strong female play the postive role for once.....

forgot postive!

lorie said...

I wonder why Christianity went from Christ empowering women to the church devaluing them?

Cynthia said...

Maybe some men could tell us, where are they?

d-roc said...

Hi ladies,

Just stopping by and I like this conversation.

I think men in the church are having a hard time being the leaders God intended them to be. Men in the church, for the most part, are expected to be leaders, but have not seen what true leadership looks like. Insecurity, of course, is a major player, speaking from experience. It is a hard thing to overcome and move in confidence. Even if it is in God you place your confidence.

We(men)need to remember, God sees our potential and expects us to move accordingly. Easier said, than done!

lorie said...

Thanks for weighing in, d-roc!

We ALL need to remember that God sees our potential and expects us to move accordingly. I think we all, male and female alike, get too caught up in what other people think, Christian and non-Christian alike, and forget to look at Christ as our model for leadership. (As well as everything else!)

Cynthia said...

D-roc,

Does a poor leader example play into why stronger women in the church are frowned upon? Or are you saying in a subtle way that because there are poor examples of leadership for men that women have taken over that role by being strong?

Lori,

Christ is our model for leadership, but He is a man (which doesn't affect me the same as it does the male gender) lending to the partriarchal nature of the church...is He our (women) model for leadership? Or should we look at how He treated the women in His life and learn how He loved them for who they were. Could that be empowering to us women?

lorie said...

I think he is our model, Cindy-- first, he did nothing to contribute to the patriarchal nature, in fact, he acted outrightly contrary to it. Second, though he was in a male body, he had many feminine characteristics as well, as well as being God incarnate, who's image is both male and female, according to Genesis. I think we need to look to him not as a man, but as God incarnate (who could naturally only take one form or the other) and consider both his masculinity and femininity when considering what biblical leadership should look like.

I'm still curious why both men and women alike exhibit this fear of being "powerful beyond measure."

Cynthia said...

I suppose authority of any kind will look masculine.

lorie said...

Again, because God's character is both masculine and feminine, I think authority should have both elements visable within it. In fact, most of the leaders I have respected the most have shown both aspects within their personality and leadership style.

lorie said...

Adding to that thought, I think as a culture we've made strength equal masculine and weakness equal feminine. I wonder if that is part of where your comment came from?

Cynthia said...

I'm not questioning God's masculine/feminine nature, I am referring to humanity's perception of authority. Even though God is without gender, He is still considered masculine because of His emminence (or is it imminence).

See, I'm even referring to Him as 'Him'.

When men like John Eldredge write books defining the masculinity of men by calling Mel Gibson's Braveheart true manliness and calling Mr. Rogers milquetoast..in the name of the Lord, then what are we all to think?

What does a Godly man think a woman should be like? And where did he get that belief? From society, his parents, books, a misinterpretation of Prov. 31, etc..or did he get it from studying the nature of Christ and seeing that we all are equal in Him?

So we only had one dude check in so far? Pity.

(sorry to John Eldredge fans but a healthy debate on his philosophy could do us all some good..I'm game.)

lorie said...

I gotcha, I am just saying that humankind's perception of authority SHOULD be based on the fact that God is BOTH masculine and feminine, and, in an ideal world, it SHOULD embrace both.

So, I suppose my husband is milquetoast, then?

Cynthia said...

"So, I suppose my husband is milquetoast, then?"

Is Tom Mr. Rogers? :-) I guess there-in lies a whole new set of questions regarding what makes a man and what we are being taught. I personally love Mr. Rogers and he was a fine example of manliness towards children and his lifelong work. He had a Jesus factor working...and you're right we should be able to embrace both qualities in each gender.

But in our world, "Real men don't eat quiche, and real women don't pump gas."
not sure who quoted that.

Anonymous said...

Well, this has turned into an interesting discussion! I imagine, the men may be a little fearful to respond. Dammed if they do and dammed if they dont!

Cynthia, are you a philosphy major? If your not, you should be!

Yes, there are the Mr. Rogers of the world and guys to other extreme. But, I think the same goes for women also.

Oh, yes, I to loved Mr Rogers growing up! As a little girl, I always wished he could come through the TV and be my daddy.

Both genders deal with lots of insecurities and fears, I think. Women, are socially allowed to express and chat with thier girlfriends about all the emotional garbage. Men, on other hand, doesnt seem to be the case. Those, that are emotional are often labled weak or clingy.

It really just boils down to remembering you are son or daughter of God and embracing that role. No matter what your gender and allowing God, to do his work through his creation.

The other day it really personally hit, I am a child of God and its about time I started acting like it.

Oh, yeah I read a part of a John Eldredge, book and personally didnt see why so many ppl like his work. It was okay.

tootles
angela

Just a few thoughts

tootles
Angela

Cynthia said...

Angela,

No I'm not a philosophy major, but maybe I'll consider changing. :-)

Cynthia said...

My major that is.

Anonymous said...

well cynthia you should be a philosphy or an english major. so switch to one of those areas!

angela

Cynthia said...

ha ha, I AM an English major...:)

Anonymous said...

REALLY???!!!?

Shoot..what can I say im good!!!!!

Good luck! Your in the right area, i think by the nature your comments =)

Anonymous said...

opps i forgot to sign!

angela (for the last one....)=)

lorie said...

She sure is!!! (And she's going to keep at it, right? Right?)

(:))

Anonymous said...

well...maybe i should change my major and become a guidance counselor! hahaah =)

angela