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.
~ Marianne Williamson
Powerful forces of change are afoot in the world today. Yet we can still experience peace in our daily lives. Moving into a place of hope and positivity is a choice, though sometimes it surely seems otherwise. However with practice, I’m convinced that it’s within the grasp of most anyone, for each decision and movement we make is based in freedom or from fear.
In The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz expands on his philosophy that we live life in a dream. This societal dream is one in which we are immersed from an early age. Based on dominance, control and fear, it reveres technology while ignoring our sacred relationship to earth and the natural world. We are reminded that knowledge lies within each of us. Becoming aware of it is the challenge of our human condition. Ruiz teaches that “We go deep into hell and we suffer in order to acquire awareness … To get from hell, we need awareness which we acquire through intent and spirit … Heaven is a place without fear.”
Toltecs perceive humans as part of the earth’s greater ecosystem. As plants convert the sun’s energy through photosynthesis, so humans recycle energy back through emotional energies. We work for the earth twenty-four hours a day, just like the bees and the ants. “The work we do for the planet is to make emotions. Making emotions is the main function of the human mind.”
The prime emotion we may move toward when we release trepidation is love. Ruiz studies all the world’s major spiritual traditions, discovering a common thread of love running throughout. Churches teach it, so do parents. Often however, the kinds of love we see demonstrated carry a charge of fear – from the fire and brimstone preacher to individuals who give love with strings attached. True love is unconditional and cannot exist in the presence of fear. We fail to experience it while under the threat of losing it if we do the wrong thing.
Many Western religions scorn the physical body and its propensity for desire and physical love. Yet if we dissociate from our bodies because we’ve learned not to trust them and to fear their sensate nature, we break faith with the natural world and deny our inherent knowing. The body conveys consciousness into the world. In addition, spiritual practice with an unquiet mind in abandonment of the physical body is like driving a car with our eyes shut and our hands off the wheel. Most physical and mental exercise in our society is based on this sort of driven philosophy, where we push ourselves beyond endurance to “perfect” the body or to “challenge” the mind.
Perhaps we are less afraid of our inadequacies than of not measuring up to some perceived standard. Realize such standards are set to rein in the masses and foster social order. They then are disseminated by the minions of media, hypnotizing many into believing their mandates. As far as I can see however, our spirits are limitless. Accessing the truth of this allows us to blossom and flower into our full potential as sentient human beings, contributing to a more peaceful and just planetary community. We become the change, liberating ourselves and others, instead of kicking back, zoning out and becoming swept up in its jaw-clenching grip.