By Rev. Gregory C. Guice, Senior Minister, Detroit Unity Temple
It is not often that I want to say thank you to a writer for their words, but once when I was working with a group of young men in an inner-city school, I had them read a quote by Marianne Williamson. My intention was to let them realize how great they can truly be. So often they are characterized as lacking in so many areas. I wanted them to know life is not based on others’ expectation and they could achieve all they want in life. So we read her quote aloud.
“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.”
Her words resonated within each young man and me, the idea that we are meant to shine, to be brilliant, talented, gorgeous, a body of Truth. I saw their eyes sparkle with the thought… I am brilliant. Yet, for some of them I could feel that they still had a feeling of being stuck, trapped in their own suffering or their own pain bodies. I shared with them that our lives may not have gone in a story book fashion as we may have envisioned, or it may not have been filled with all painless encounters.
For some of us our story takes on the prodigal son’s adventure, where our life is one that is filled with challenges of death, lack and destruction. We may have felt that the world owed us something; putting us in a poverty environment, and other issues that would weaken any man or woman. But, here in that darkness lays the key, the magic, the God potential.
In her book Tears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment Marianne states
“The pain you are going through is not what will determine your future; your future will be determined by who you are as you go through your pain.”
These are the moments that open and awaken the SPIRITUAL cells which release the Christ presence within us. Moments of despair, MOMENTS OF FEAR, that we say NO!….not here, for I AM A CHILD OF GOD, A SPIRITUAL PRESENCE OF THE MOST HIGH!
When we move away from tears and fears and ascend into the Hightower of Triumph, a spiritual victory has taken place. We are no longer playing small and the light within us is shining for all the world to see. We are born to manifest the glory of God that is within us! Thank you again Marianne Williamson for your wisdom. Rev. Gregory C. Guice