My Dad and I in Mexico City

For years I dimmed my light for others and did my best to blend in.

My parents were highly esteemed ballet masters in our town and I never wanted anyone to think I had a “big head” because of it.

They were always very sensitive to this fact and treated me no different from anyone else. But in high school, I got cast in the leading roles of our ballets. Not because I was their daughter but because I was capable of doing the parts.

And when I began modeling at age 13, that started a whole new chapter in my light-dimming years. Mind you, modeling was nothing I ever pursued. It came to me in a very natural way and my parents were encouraging so I went for it. But the moment I felt a friend show the slightest bit of jealousy I’d downplay my job.

I was afraid of shining too bright and garnering too much attention. I never wanted anyone to be in my shadow so I consciously began dimming my light more and more. Little did I know that this decision would haunt me for years to come.

By the time I made it to college, I’d already reduced the wattage of my light so much, that I could no longer see who I was. Thus began my quest to recover my buried light.

I flip-flopped majors from nursing to English to finally, journalism. I fell in love with journalism and when I went to London to study, my light began emerging from its prolonged dormancy.

I’d found a purpose.

Since then it has been quite a process in rediscovering that light. I’ve worked long and hard on changing those limiting thought patterns I’d created in my mind and have finally broken through the bondage of self-imposed smallness.

I am convinced that we are here on this earth to shine our light.

Our light is our love.

Our light is our gift.

Our light is our purpose

And I feel, just as Williamson says, our light scares us more than our darkness. In our darkness we can retreat, isolate, and be safe from the world. By shining our light we risk being ridiculed, shunned, and disliked… but that’s just what goes with the territory.

We’re never going to please everybody.

Those who are threatened by their own light will be the ones to criticize and attack. But they are the ones we MUST shine our light for. They are the ones who need it the most.

While we allow our light to shine, we unconsciously give permission for others to do the same. When we liberate ourselves from our own fears, simply our presence may liberate others. ~Marianne Williamson

So has this ever happened to you? Has a person or situation ever caused you to dim your light?