Marianne Wiliamson Our Deepest Fear Analysis

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The Light I Hope to Emit

What is my light? I would like to think that what radiates from me is kindness and respect. That desire is safe and comfortable; a seemingly lackluster ambition. Doesn’t everyone want others to think of them as pleasant? Do I have a light that is more extraordinary than that? According to Marianne Wiliamson, author of “Our Deepest Fear,” I am scared of exactly that. And so is everyone else. We take refuge in pleasant, when what we are is marvelous. Marvelous beings put here to illuminate magnificently.

Williamson jumps right in with an alarming contradiction. She argues that what makes us uncomfortable in our lives is exactly the opposite of what we think it is. We are not scared that we don’t measure up to societal, familial, or personal standards. Quite the contrary - we are fearful that we exceed the expectations. The reason it frightens us so, according to her, is that we have the notion that standing out for what makes us unique will cause people around us to feel inhibited. From her perspective, that isn’t the case at all. By allowing ourselves to be wonderfully unique, we “give other people permission to do the same.”
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And on the way to finding what it is we can offer, there are a multitude of opportunities to illuminate the world around us. That is what I take from this poem – a resolve to make a greater effort to shine in my day-to-day life. I don’t know exactly how I can shine, but I trust that I can figure it out. I can “serve the world.” I can “be brilliant,” and I can “manifest the glory of God.” Living the way Williamson advocates for calls for baby steps. I won’t wake up tomorrow with a new found exuberance for standing apart from the crowd. But I can take from this poem the knowledge that I, along with everyone else in the world, can and should try to let my light

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