glyph 122: liberation greatness power enlightenment poetry


Our Greatest Fear —Marianne Williamson

it is our light not our darkness that most frightens us

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 and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other

people won't feel insecure around you.

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.

—Marianne Williamson

Often said to have been quoted in a speech by Nelson Mandela. The source is Return to Love by Marianne Williamson, Harper Collins, 1992. —Peter McLaughlin

This, by Francis of Assisi, is wonderfully complementary:

Readers who take Williamson's words to heart may develop adventurous lives. Steve Jobs and Apple liked this possibility and made this video: Here's to the Crazy Ones and some may become Weavers of Freeorder

Until November 4, 2006 this glyph was titled: "Our Greatest Fear, by Marianne Williamson, quoted by Nelson Mandela"

Email received on November 2, 2006:

Your website [] correctly attributes the "Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate..." passage to Marianne Williamson, but inaccurately states that it was quoted by Nelson Mandela in a 1994 speech. This is a misapprehension that I think arose as people tried to explain why the passage was so frequently attributed to him. Actually, the passage appears nowhere in either of his two 1994 speeches ...

The writer recommended for further information. This site includes a note from the ANC saying that they could find nothing in Mandela's speeches that quoted "Our Greatest Fear". Perhaps this was quoted by Mandela in conversation. Further information received with interest. —leif smith

The Explorers Foundation is about the emergence of freeorder, about a world fit for explorers and people ready to live in such a world. —Explorers Foundation
entered before July 9, 2006; edited/updated April 23, 2017

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