When I graduated from high school I swapped photos with my classmates. We wrote messages to each other on the back of our photos. One friend wrote a little poem:
“Hide not your talents,
for use they’re made,
What’s a sun-dial in the shade.”
For years I carried that photo, and still have it stored in one of the boxes in one of the places I’ve lived – and hope someday to revisit. I may not have the photo in front of me today, but I remember the young woman who wrote the words, and see her face clearly in front of me. Over the years when I’ve struggled with making my creativity public, I’ve remembered her words and pushed my self past the fear.
Screwing up the courage to go forth with your vision means taking risks. Risk that it won’t be appreciated. Risk that it will be misunderstood. Risk that you or your most intimate artistic expressions will be misrepresented, mislabeled, misnamed. And the worst possible scenario, held up to public ridicule. I’ve suffered all of them. The latter is perhaps the toughest to endure. It can drive the most sensitive back into the darkness, and when that happens the darkness wins.
It can also liberate you from the fear of letting your brilliance shine. They’ve made you look worse than even you can make yourself look, so what is there to lose?
Marianne Williamson says, in A Return to Love (Harper Collins, 1992)
“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, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles
Let your brilliance shine! Let your light shine! Show your brilliant beauty to the world!
And please try to relax!
When someone says they love what you do accept their compliments with grace. Take time to receive their compliment. Say thank you. Accept the gift of their love and appreciation and hold it in your heart. It’s a precious gem, and will light up your life in even the darkest moments. Yes, you do deserve it. Yes, you do deserve to be loved and admired, so…get over it.