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  • Fe Robinson

Shining your light to encourage others to shine

"There is a genius that can be found only in our coming together, and it's our combined abilities that elevate and strengthen us. True humility doesn't mean making yourself smaller, but recognising we are all the same size: necessary." Toko-pa Turner

Many many years ago, I recall one of my first managers telling me I worked too quickly. He was concerned that because I was getting through tasks at a pace, people would think I hadn’t thought enough about things. I questioned if there was an issue with the quality or depth of my work, and he said no, it’s just you do it too quickly. He recommended I put things to one side for a few days before sending them out, just to manage perceptions. I remember finding it quite confusing, then later being angry, and later still feeling very sad. Some 25 years later, I still remember it.

What I know now that was not apparent to me then is that I am OK, just as I am. Yes, I do have a rapid work-rate. I can write blogs and articles relatively quickly, I am lucky to be able to absorb and synthesise information well, and I find an ease in managing accounts and doing administration that makes my life more manageable than it otherwise would. I’m able to celebrate these things.

I don’t need to make myself smaller and minimise the gifts I have. Doing so would not only dishonour my own being and the contribution of all the people and events who have shaped me to be the person I am. It would also indicate to others that they too need to hide aspects of themselves, unconsciously giving out that they should not be all of who they are.

I love Toko-Pa Turner’s quote reminding us that we are all the same size - necessary. You see, I know that other people have gifts that I do not. I look with admiration at people who enjoy social confidence and ease, at those with great memories, those with skill and knowledge in gardening, or who can play music by ear etc etc. I am so very glad that these skills are out there, and I can enjoy their fruits, and enjoy the diversity of people and life, knowing that we each make our own unique contribution. We each can be the self that we are, and celebrate others doing the same, knowing that we all matter greatly.

I’ll finish with Marianne Williamson’s wonderful quote on this subject which will be familiar, but is worth endless repetition. It’s references to a higher power may not resonate for every reader, we all have our own spiritual frame of reference, but the quote seems to me to speak universally.

“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.”

How will you shine your light today?


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