by Linda-Ann Stewart
Some years ago, a friend and I discussed how scared we felt when we thought of others seeing us clearly. Most people think they want to be accepted fully for who they are, but in reality, it can feel threatening. We took it to the next level and explored how it would feel for someone to view our true potential, to recognize our spiritual core, which is powerful and magnificent in everyone. Very quickly, we mentally backed away from the concept because it created such anxiety. Many people hide their true self, not wanting to have their deepest self exposed and vulnerable.
When I talk about having our potential appreciated, I don’t mean when someone sees us through rose-colored glasses, considers us to be perfect, or puts us on a pedestal. That’s not reality. They’re not seeing the real person, but a pale version. If they actually see us for the wonderful person that we are, accepting all of our flaws and idiosyncrasies, it can make us uncomfortable.
For one thing, it’s unfamiliar. We’re used to putting ourselves down, deflecting compliments, diminishing our talents, or conversely, overcompensating by exaggerating them. Many of us avoid threatening others by discounting our abilities, talents, or skills, because they could punish us for their feelings of inadequacy.
As children, we’re taught not to “blow your own horn,” be too powerful, unique, or stand out too much. Someone once put me down with, “You just want to be different.” Conformity is encouraged and excelling is discouraged, unless you’re an overachiever. Overachievers work hard and use perfectionism as another way of gaining esteem. Either way, approval of those around us is the goal. When we choose a spiritual path, we continue to downplay our abilities to avoid our ego being in control.
Imagine someone truly accepting us totally, as we are, approving of us and recognizing our true potential. Most people think that would be such a gift, when in reality, it can produce deep apprehension. In “Return To Love,” Marianne Williamson said, “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 and fabulous?”
We’re used to trotting out our flaws, and making sure people recognize them. “I can’t cook,” “I’m not enough,” or “I can’t be successful.” By placing walls around our truest self, we try to protect it. As we constantly limit ourselves, we expect others to agree with us and do the same. What if others took away our restrictions by seeing that they were just excuses? If others realize our greatness, they could have expectations that we can’t or don’t want to meet. We could disappoint them, therefore it’s better to create low expectations to begin with.
To counteract this negative conditioning, begin to list all of your positive attributes. Consider all the wonderful talents you have, even if it’s just that you make a dynamite instant pudding. Diminishing yourself doesn’t make you more spiritual, a better person, or even able to avoid another’s criticism’s. They can see you for who you are, whether you expose it or not.
Trying to hide your “light under a bushel” hampers your spiritual and personal development. You are a child of the Universe, and the Universe recognizes your power, glory, and greatness. You were created, and put here, to expand into expressing all the goodness of the Infinite. Accept and embrace your potential, glory and greatness.
I acknowledge and accept my true worth and potential. As an individualized expression of the Universe, I embody Its power and glory. I let go of the excuses I’ve used to keep myself small and allow myself to expand into the greatness that is who I truly am. I now accept acknowledgement and appreciation gracefully. It is safe for me to now recognize my light and allow it to shine.
Copyright 2008 Linda Ann Stewart
All Rights Reserved