"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."
~ Marianne Williamson
It's more common than not in the smack dab middle of winter to snuggle in and watch movies. Today was one of those snugglin' up kind of Sunday afternoons and we all settled down and watched Akeelah and the Bee. It came out in 2006 but we never made it out to see it. You may have seen it for sale at Starbucks since Starbucks Entertainment was behind it for promotion and financial backing. It's the story of an 11 year-old girl in a beat down school who has untapped talent. If you haven't seen it, seek it out, grab the family and watch it. No matter the age, everyone should like it and connect with it. The quote above was used as Laurence Fishburne (playing Dr. Larabee) was trying to connect with Akeelah to teach and motivate her...and to provide the "fire" for her to imagine the unimaginable.
I love the quote. I love the truth that it represents. Like it says, we were "born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us." Whatever that is for me or you, it's for each of us to find out and develop it. Then, when we "let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same." It's infectious. It's contagious. My blog, for me, is sort of that kind of thing for me. I seek to share, to inspire, to motivate others by being transparent, forthright, and without compromise. It also helps keep me grounded and real with myself. It's not too uncommon for me to refer back to a post I wrote in the past and reflect on it.
As for the manifestation of what's inside me, I find that really difficult to identify personally. Have I? I have no idea. For some, they have clearly found their calling. To be a doctor, nurse, administrator, school teacher, missionary, pastor, or heck, even a running store owner...these people may say that they found it. For me, I'd say that I seek to just do my best at all times and do what creates the passion and "burn" within me. In my running life, it's the ultra-marathon and going beyond what others consider possible or in the 100-mile race, what others even consider "sane." Professionally, I sit in a cubicle, working for Uncle Sam, and often sit face-to-face with people who are homeless or in the middle of a crisis I can't even imagine. My chance to serve them well and serve them to the very best of my ability provides the drive and "fire" to keep going. If it wasn't for the constantly varying workload and different people everyday, I'd despise my job. Quite the opposite, though. While so many complain in my line of work, I start each day with a smile (and sometimes a Starbucks) and CHOOSE to manifest the day in the most positive way I can. As a Navy officer in the Navy Reserve, it's my passion to serve my country and also to be an example of that to my children. Yea, I can do the job and while it's not overly exciting, it's the service to my fellow countryman or woman that provides the "burn." Lastly, as a husband and father, that's where I consistently feel like I'm not quite "cuttin' the mustard." Others say I'm doing good but I don't have the confidence that I am. I couldn't imagine a more beautiful family and I am incredibly thankful for them, but I really don't feel like I measure up. I never feel like I need a pat on my back or even deserve one. Parenting...being a husband...is not easy. I never thought it would be but I'm here to confirm that it isn't.
Before starting this last paragraph, be it known that I read the preceding paragraphs about 3 times and paused to take the girls to church for AWANA. I just let it all soak in about this thing called "manifestation." I do have one observation about what I wrote: I believe that my running and most importantly, my trail running, provides an escape both mentally and physically. No distractions. No cell phones. Nothing. Some who don't run can't wrap there minds around it and how I overcome the boredom of being out there. That way of thinking is so, SO far from the reality of what truly exists out there. In fact, I think...no...I KNOW that trail running and the "escape" it provides sorta numbs the areas of my life where I feel I don't quite measure up. You could say I'm "running away" from it (but since I return home after my run, that sure doesn't make sense!) or you could say it's some kind of drug that dulls the reality of my shortcomings. On the trails, there is nothing to stop me, to derail me. Out there, I am the king of my own destiny and only I determine the outcome.
Coming full circle, I like the quote. However, the beginning sentence that says that deep down, we don't feel inadequate...well, I think I can punch a few holes in that one. For that, I can certainly say that I do. However, the quote as a whole can really serve each of us well...to dig deep and find that which provides the fire, the "burn," the motivation to manifest that which we were designed to do.
To the trails, my friends...