Twelve years ago, right before I got married, I vividly remember living in an apartment in central Austin with my husband-to-be and reading Return to Love by Marianne Williamson.
The book’s messages changed my life. The core theme that I think about everyday is there are only ever two choices in life: love or fear.
Everything we do is either motivated by love–which allows us to trust in the flow of life and expect good to come to us–or fear, which causes us to doubt, constrict and cut ourselves off from others. (Think about it—all expansive feelings are born from love and the scared or worried feelings can always be traced back to fear.)
I choose love.
I want to relax into the flow of life. I want to be open and receptive to those I come in contact with. I want to trust that “the Universe is conspiring in my favor,” and that the days and months ahead will be filled with many good things to come. I want to always feel like there is more than enough for everyone in every situation. I want to always remember that the more I love myself, the more I am able to love and have compassion for those around me. I want to have a soft and open heart.
I attended a women’s appreciation dinner tonight and each of us shared a favorite love poem. I explored bringing a favorite passage from Mary Oliver, Hafiz, Rumi, David Whyte and others, but I kept getting pulled back to the following famous passage from Marianne Williamson (below).
My dad gave this poem to me right before he died suddenly from a heart attack in 1996. I think his final words of wisdom were quite appropos and as I continue to expand into more self-love and self-acceptance daily, I hope I am able to inspire others to do the same. Happy Valentines Day–let your light shine.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond
It is our light, not our darkness, that most
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and 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 about you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to 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
Photo: This 11×17 reminder is taped squarely on the front of our refrigerator. It helps me remember in some of my hardest moments–often parenting–that I choose love.
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