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 doesn't serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. 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.
This quote is often attributed to Nelson Mandela but I did some digging and found that is was first said by Marianne Williamson in her book "A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"". Regardless of where it originated it has inspired me.
So often we feel inadequate and unworthy, unworthy of love, unworthy of compassion, and unworthy of forgiveness and healing. I have struggled with feelings of inadequacy over my appearance, my work skills and even my faith. Through it all I learned that even if we feel inadequate and unworthy, God still loves us because we are his children.
Society loves to tell us what we can't do. For example, "I can't get married because I struggle with Same Gender Attraction (SGA)". This is ludicrous. Even though it may be more difficult for me to find a woman who loves me enough to look past my trials it is not impossible. Another example is "You can't be happy in a heterosexual relationship if you experience SGA" or "I can't be masculine because I am gay". To all these messages the world through out I say:
Remember the quote from the beginning? "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." We do not need to cower in fear of what we cannot do, or what society says we cannot do because society is wrong, the media is wrong and so are those that hate what they do not understand. They are wrong because "As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." This is what is important; this is the truth. Fear is one of Satan's greatest tools in the war of souls. He wants us to be scared of each other. He wants us to be scared of God and most importantly he wants us to be scared of ourselves. Joseph Smith taught:
"Where doubt and uncertainty are there faith is not, nor can it be. For doubt and faith do not exist in the same person at the same time; so that persons whose minds are under doubts and fears cannot have unshaken confidence; and where unshaken confidence is not there faith is weak; and where faith is weak the persons will not be able to contend against all the opposition, tribulations, and afflictions which they will have to encounter in order to be heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ Jesus; and they will grow weary in their minds, and the adversary will have power over them and destroy them." (Lectures on Faith 6:5-12.)
There will always be days that it is hard to gather the faith necessary to overcome temptations but we have been provided a savior for when that happens. Jesus Christ came to "take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people" (Alma 7:11) He came to atone for our sins so that when we fall, for we all fall occasionally, he can extend his hand and pull us back up to our feet. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) We have not been left alone in our challenges or trials, rather we have been given all the tools we need to continue on as we exercise our faith.
To end I want to share a wonderful song composed by Rob Gardner. It has helped me through many dark nights when I felt there was no one listening and that I was all alone. It serves as a reminder to me that no matter what happens in my life the Savior is by my side.
My Kindness Shall Not Depart From Thee