Well, it has been quite The Week. You know those weeks? The ones that you ride like a roller coaster (though sometimes it can feel like you're the track and not the cart)? Yeah, it's been one of those. I'm glad to say it's mostly been up and up, and yet, it still takes a lot out of me. Please bear with me; I've just discovered I'm human (more to come on that, later).
I've been meaning to post this since last week, and not a single day (hour?) has passed since then that I haven't turned my thoughts towards a hero we lost last week. A hero who served humanity, not fearlessly, but in the face of his fears, which is how I define true courage.
Nelson Mandela: All that he stood for (literally, in the face of overwhelming odds), all that he overcame and, most of all, the indomitable spirit of love, generosity and positivity that he will forever embody in our collective human memory, is a massive inspiration to me.
This past week, I have thought to myself, "What are you so afraid of, Bay?" "What do you stand for? Believe in?" This man gave everything, risked everything and still stood strong, for 95 years. This man, unassuming but for a smile that would light the world up with hope, vanquished apartheid, uniting a nation torn apart and inspired a whole planet. He is the definition of grace, forgiveness and love in the face of fear and hate. Instead of defending, he opened up. Let love out and it grew, and grew. I never met him, but I love him.
It makes me wonder? What will I give my life for? Because no matter what I choose to do with my life, whether I let my choices reflect my hopes or my fears, one thing is certain: I am exchanging my life for it. That much is a fact. When I look at it that way, I think I am done with waiting for someday. With feeling sorry for myself. With making myself small and what I want to do insignificant. Am I done with fear? I'd love to say yes, but realistically, I know that fear is not done with me. But I can, and I will, stand up and move forward anyway.
Will you join me? What are you giving your life for, today? If you could stand at the edge of the end of your life and look back, what legacy would you want to have left in your wake?
[tweet "No matter what I choose to do with my life, I am exchanging my life for it."]
The following quote is often mistakenly attributed to Nelson Mandela and it is easy to see why: It so clearly describes him and the way he lived his life.
“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.”
– from A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson.
Where are you playing small? Where are you choosing from your fears instead of our hopes? What is the grand legacy you want to create? When will you start?
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