It’s funny how we trip over the same bits of wisdom over and over again. It’s like the Universe knows we’re a bit slow on the uptake so it keeps bopping us on the head just in case we missed it the first, second or third time around.

That’s how I felt the other day when I was channel surfing, putting off doing laundry, and ran across the movie Akeelah and the Bee, (2006). Eleven year old Akeelah was being tutored for a spelling bee by Dr. Larabee. He had a quote mounted on a plaque in his office. Akeelah read it out loud:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. ~Marianne Williamson

Dr. Larabee: Does that mean anything to you?

Akeelah: I don’t know.

Dr. Larabee: It’s written in plain English. What does it mean?

Akeelah: That I’m not supposed to be afraid?

Dr. Larabee: Afraid of what?

Akeelah: Afraid of… me?

We are taught to be afraid of ourselves, afraid of our own brilliance, by people who love us, who had the best of intentions. “The world is a dangerous place.” “Life is hard.” “Don’t expect anything and you won’t be disappointed.” “If you expect the worst you are prepared for the worst.”

Sadly, the result of all this fear inoculation isn’t toughness, it’s just more fear. Where is the hope in this? It’s hard to see.

That’s why I love Marianne Williamson’s quote. She just rips that blind fold right off. It’s a good lesson to learn over and over again, as many times as it takes to sink in, to undo the archaic lesson of fear.

Let’s not hide our light under a blanket. Let’s throw off the constraint of low expectations put on us by others. Let’s dare to be as great as we know in our hearts we can be, as we are.

If we give ourselves a moment to listen, we will finally learn the truth in this.

The divine spirit within us tells us so.

Photo courtesy of Ken Schwarz via Flickr