People use quotes and inspirational wall art as reminders for themselves when they feel stuck or struggle. It seems to be a popular phenomenon in the USA and among influencers overall. Some of the quotes are encouraging, and some of them are more like statements. Do they work for us all? Here are my thoughts.
“Live, Love, Laugh,” “Follow your dreams!” “Carpe Diem,” “Believe in yourself!” All these overly joyful, enthusiastic, supportive slogans and quotes, giving me negative chills. They feel like the encouraging pat on your back, while you “know” that those words and actions are only habitual, and people don’t mean it. People think they are supposed to say something supportive, and I never believe them. Spoken support is extremely difficult to receive. If I am supported, I don’t have the right to fail! It’s safer to use Finnish slogans like: “Chin on your chest and towards new disappointments!” A bit grumpy, but that one has always resonated. But, things have changed – I have changed.
The change might be a result of growing older, living in a different country, and going through hours and hours of life and health coaching. (Coaching was also in my nonsense list a decade ago). A lot of inner work and acceptance has taken place. I still don’t want those overused phrases hanging on our home’s walls – it is like artificial happiness to me and my grumpy Finnish soul cannot take it. But I am ready for optimism, support, and some… quotes.
So, there is this one poem that has gotten access to our home office. First, as a printed paper that I got from one of our teachers at Boston College. It is Marianne Williamson’s “Our deepest fear.” Now later, I found myself ordering a piece of wall art with that poem. The poem goes like this:
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, or fabulous?” Well, actually who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the World. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some of us; It is 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.Marianne Williamson
My favorite part is: “Your playing small does not serve the world.” That is something that talks to me whenever I am drowning in self-doubt. I started to write about negativity, rude feedback, and belittling on Greta Thunberg‘s birthday this week. But somehow, I ended up on the side rails while the piece of paper I got from that teacher was in front of my face. That paper has become my encouragement and beacon – and I am surprised and happy about that. As I have been “Who am I to xxx,” “How could I xxx” type of person in many cases I have had a passion for, this is a big change of attitude. This planet needs to be helped, and it cannot be done if everyone stays in their comfort zones. Walk the talk, so now I have gotten the courage to hatch out from my safety bubble, trying to make my message and myself seen and heard. Simultaneously, I take the risk to get some critique. It is a risk worth taken.
I know I am not alone with my thoughts. Not with my insecurities, nor with my passion for helping the Earth. I want to encourage you to have faith that we can change the future of this planet. Whatever is your “why” for whomever you wish the direction to change. What empowers you? What gives you strength? How do you stay positive and feel supported?
Let’s spread the word! Let’s listen and be heard!