The Light of International Women’s Day

 

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Happy International Women’s Day!  All day I have been thinking about all the beautiful, smart, talented women who surround me–and have surrounded me–and I have been feeling blessed and empowered to stand among them.

In that spirit, my thoughts and heart were lifted today as seminarian Tamika Jancewicz led a really wonderful chapel service at the seminary.  She ended with this lovely excerpt from a book by Marianne Williamson, “Our Deepest Fear.”  It was really inspiring, and I want to share it here, in case others haven’t heard it before.  It is a reminder to all women everywhere to embrace our strength, embrace our light, and use those gifts to lift up others, as we have been lifted up.

I am grateful for all the women who have nurtured and supported me, and I am grateful for the opportunities I have [and have had] to nurture and support other women.  Our lives intersect and interweave in such profound, meaningful ways; today, it all feels like pure gift and grace to me.  I hope it feels that way to you, too.

Our Deepest Fear

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, handsome, 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 around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.

It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

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