Don’t call us, we’ll call you

April 19, 2011

Does this resonate with you?

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , , , , , — llcall @ 8:00 pm

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 . . . We ask ourselves: “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?” Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.

Marianne Williamson (sometimes erroneously attributed to Nelson Mandela — in my quick search for proper attribution, I realized there a number of variations floating around so I can’t say definitively that this is her exact quote . . . but I digress)

I’ve been meaning to ask this for a long time . . . does this quote resonate with you?  Does it seem true in your life?  Do you like it?  Why or why not?  (Formal essays accepted but not required.)



  1. It sounds nice, but not really. I really wish this were my problem, but I think most people (me) are truly afraid of failing.

    Comment by Jen — April 19, 2011 @ 11:14 pm

  2. No, not at all. I always raise an eyebrow when I come across that quote.

    Comment by Nikki — April 20, 2011 @ 1:35 am

  3. I DO find that this quote resonates with me. A roommate of mine shared it with me in college and I pondered it for some time. Didn’t write an essay though. But you know, fears change all the time, so the superlative that it is our deepest fear could be true sometimes and sometimes not.

    I like it though, and I think there’s truth in it.

    Comment by Alysa Stewart — April 20, 2011 @ 3:28 pm

  4. I think this must resonate with some people (who I guess, might also be some of the people who really like the fake quote about pioneers worshipping us in heaven for making it through our time on earth—does that sound too harsh? sorry), but it has never done anything for me. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a church that told me I would be like God someday that I am comfortable with the idea of power and greatness. Maybe it’s because as the only girl in my family (6 brothers) my parents were free to tell me I was the most gorgeous, talented, incredible girl in the world. This was easy to believe in the extremely rural area I grew up, but freshman year at BYU I was small fish in big pond and my “self-esteem” took a serious blow. In fact, I think being told such great things about my self actually set me up for some pretty serious issues with feelings of inadequacy. Compliments and references to potential have to be given and taken carefully. But the point is, even on bad days, I usually don’t need help thinking I’m awesome and capable of good/greatness. Maybe that’s why I need such big trials in my life, to keep me humble and to make it hard to achieve even the normal stuff, that is still really important, like preparing food and getting dressed.

    Comment by vblanchard — April 20, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

  5. I like to think that because I understand I am a child of god, nothing is impossible; therefore, I have the confidence to do whatever I want to accomplish and it isn’t god telling me I’m inadequate, but the devil. Anytime he can get me to doubt my potential he wins. Anytime I give in to the fear that I can’t, he wins. Maybe that’s what this quote is actually trying to say. It reminds me of that one quote don’t ask me what I can do for you, ask me what I cant!

    Comment by carissa — April 20, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

  6. I think the quote is a litmus test to demonstrate how people choose to interpret it. For instance, it wouldn’t be difficult to see it is an explanation of how we are all sinners, with potential for perfection, with potential for god-hood. And when we don’t behave as we should, it could in part be because we’re afraid to live up to such high standards. We’re afraid to exercise our power and potential because it would mean we’d have to give up all of our petty grievances and selfish inclinations. I, for one, admit to being daunted by just how great I am told I can become, if only I will repent all and forsake every sin. And I presume all of us could relate to that to some extent, or we’d not still be stuck here on earth, muddling through and trying to figure it all out. Being sub-par can be easy, comfortable. Being amazing, being more than our natural, thoughtless inclinations, that can be scary.

    Having said that, it’s just one interpretation. I also like the interpretation that says what I’m really afraid of is spiders, and neither light nor dark. Except that spiders can hide in dark places. Hairy ones. spindly legs. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

    Comment by neal — April 21, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

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