Who dares to look beyond the mirror, deep into one’s own inner Being, to search out the patterns that make us act and react as we do?  Chances are that the fear of the unknown makes us cling to old, set (read, “stuck”!) ways of looking at life, and keeps our choices within the confines of a well-defined familiarity.  Perhaps one reason we admire heroes is that they seem to have the gumption, grit and courage to go beyond their regular patterns, to be “present” in the moment to “show up” and deliver the steps of action that any given situation calls for.

But what about us?  Who are you, really, when nobody’s looking?  It seems to me that all too often the programmed-from-birth fear of making a mistake, keeps us holding ourselves small. What if we made a new decision NOW?  Go big or go home is a popular new saying.  One of my teachers from my 3.5 years of training with the Institute for Spiritual Partnership in Boulder, CO used to tell us that “the number one rule of relationships is to show up.”  Frankly, too many of us are not even fully showing up in our bodies, in our own lives, much less our relationships with others!  Scary, isn’t it?  Our fears and doubts on this human journey can be so crippling, and self-limiting. That is the real joy-stealer, when we give in to worries about “how it will look to others.”  The biggest tragedy at the end of the human adventure is all the times we do NOT listen to our inner voice, the inner guidance of Spirit, to make that move, take that new job, step out in our natural leadership or creative abilities.  Playing small is not the key to get someone else to love you.  First, we really have to learn to like ourselves, and the people we’ve become, and love that divine Spirit which is our core essence.

As author/teacher Marianne Williamson so beautiful states in her book A Return to Love: 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.

Let’s pick up that mirror, friends; let’s look boldly deep into the light within our own eyes…beyond the surface of those “windows of the soul” and acknowledge the true beauty that lies within. Beyond our surface appearance, whatever it may be, is a lifetime of lessons learned, patience gained, courage and fortitude established and proven to ourselves, time and again.  When we choose to radiate that Inner Light, everyone with whom we come in contact will surely benefit.  It’s exciting to consider, and certainly not so boring as being stuck in those long-time ruts that make even us tire of our own company!  Show up as the hero of your own story, and becoming a hero to others will naturally ensue.  Their gratitude will then serve as the greatest mirror we could imagine here on Earth School.