A couple of days ago I shared that I’m reading A Return To Love by Marianne Williamson. It’s actually my second go-round with the book. I attempted to read it a few years ago, but the words weren’t all that resonant since I didn’t really see myself as worthy of giving and receiving the kind of love Williamson wrote so intimately about.
I spent most of my life depriving myself and the people around me of the fullness of my love. I believed the lie that I was at once “too much” and “not enough” and invested my love into people, places and things that validated that belief. But instead of saturating my universe with more love, I learned it was easier to resist and retreat into a shell instead of summoning the courage to be as I truly am.
I made my work my shield, a solid form of protection from the formidable Boogie Men and Women who, in my eyes, were hellbent on exploiting my persistent insecurities around the living in my authenticity. I was clinical in my approach. I developed this alterego — a pragmatic, dispassionately analytical, unemotional go-getter who led with logic — and studied obsessed over my craft like my life depended on it. Because in my eyes it did: I didn’t feel like I was worth anything unless I made people feel like they were worth something first. People’s satisfaction with my work product was what fueled my existence because I denied myself the one thing that was potent enough to sustain me and everyone I encountered: Love.
Ask anyone who has watched me work, they’d tell you I’m still clinical in my approach. I’m meticulous with my systems and processes. I create templates for everything. I make it my business to not only what and how to do something, but why I’m doing it in the first place. If I can’t explain it, I don’t share it. And when I’m in Focus Mode, good luck wrestling my attention away from me — my Resting Work Face puts your Resting Bitch Face to shame.
The difference now is I realize the reason people in my life feel like they’re worth something is because I believe I’m worth everything.
I’m less afraid to unapologetically lead with unconditional love — both in my work and in my life. Because my work no longer exists to prevent people from experiencing the love I have for humanity. It’s a product of my love for humanity. It’s an example of how I live out these famous words found on page 190 of 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 doesn’t serve the world. There’s 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’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
We’re all worthy of giving and receiving this kind of love.