Thursday, January 6, 2011

Shine On

I love lamps.  I love light, and therefore, lamps and light fixtures are interesting to me.  When I'm not exercising my square chops on this blog, I work as an interior designer.  One of the great joys in that line of work is finding cool light sources for homes.  There seems to be limitless possibilities when it comes to lighting.  There are funky lamps, lava lamps, tall, thin lamps with glass shades, twinkly little holiday type lights, lanterns, candlelight, spotlights, flashlights, light houses, chandeliers, and the list could go on and on.  


Imagine, if you will, every person on earth as a lamp with a light to shine.  Our light comes from the spirit, or soul, (or whatever you want to call it) within us.  Each of us has something unique, beautiful and significant to offer to humanity during our journey. There are unlimited possibilities of how our light can shine.  For some, it may be to cure disease, for others it may be to know the law, or to create music, to paint, to write, to be an exceptional friend, to bake bread, to lay brick, to drive truck, to care for others.  The list is endless.


One of the greatest joys in life is delighting in the success of another human.  Think of parents celebrating their children's learning and development, or of a teacher working to insure a student's success.  However, there is a great, big, fat lie that a lot of people believe, and that's the idea that if you succeed, then they can't.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Here is the reality: In this world full of endless possibility and opportunity, the triumph of one being does not require the downfall of another.  Our lights can shine independently and simultaneously.


One of my favorite authors, Marianne Williamson, wrote,
 "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 will feel secure 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 out own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear our presence automatically liberates others."
 [Return to Love by Marianne Williamson, Harper Collins, 1992.]

There is a part in all of us that wants to be 'the best' at something.  Who wouldn't like to know that they excel in their chosen field?  That desire is natural and maybe even a good thing, it pushes us to work hard, and achieve our goals.  Except when we tear others down in order to build ourselves up.  Our conscious or unconscious comparisons do not go unnoticed by our spirits.  Our light becomes a little dimmer when we try to extinguish someone else's light.  

Conversely, when we are generous with our encouragement and praise for others, our light increases exponentially.  Hopefully, we have basked in the light of one who shines confidence and encouragement on others.  There is no other experience of hope like it in the world.  However, if we haven't, we can be the person who gives love and encouragement to others.  Just like switching on a lamp, each of us has the possibility within to light our own path, as well as the path of others, along the way. 

Who among us hasn't relied heavily upon the light of another at some point in our lives?
  
Never in a million years, did I think I would quote myself, (I mean, really, give me break,) but here is it:


Today, instead of condemning yourself and those around you, you have the opportunity to exonerate those you influence with your undeniable beauty. You can cease to belittle yourself and others, and instead, delight in all the success you see. Today, you can take pause and feel the peace that comes with this beauty and then you can share it.  You can let all the pain that you have been carrying about this and that go, because you can choose to.  You can believe in yourself and get out of your own way, and be happy, because you are a spark of the Divine.

Today, you can believe that you are beautiful.

Because today, you are fearless.

The time for resignation is past.  You are beautiful. When you let that beauty and all its attendant joy cascade from you, you give others the permission to do the same. Today, don’t shine less.  Shine more."  
*        *        *

Why this message again?  Perhaps its the overcast sky pressing upon me, and maybe I need more light.  Maybe there are so many that shine around me and they continually inspire.  Or maybe, I'm simply astounded at the beauty of others that they themselves seem unable or unwilling to see. 

The world is too small, life is too short, and each of us are too precious to waste our time not lifting others up, and in turn, find more joy, more abundance, and more love in every one around us.   

May we be as steady as the sun and shine loving kindness on everyone we meet.
We see our light.
May we let it shine.

What light did you see shine today? How did you let your own light shine?

E-mail me at squaretoothedgirl@gmail.com or leave your comments here.  Please join us in celebrating the simple moments of everyday life!  

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