For the past two years, I’ve watched my Bear work his butt off. He works 8-10 hours a day and then goes out at night to run cornhole tournaments (his personal passion). I’ve honestly never seen anyone with the work ethic he has.
So when I found out someone suggested he’s anything but the most ethical, honest, and hard working man I’ve ever met, I tend to lose my shit a little bit. The mere suggestion that he would lie or be anything but giving (you can’t outgive God, but this guy comes close) causes me to consider things that are illegal.
Of course, as usual, all that anger got me thinking. What is it that causes people to assume, make up stories, or share half-truths in the shadows? Why would ANYONE want to hurt someone else’s livelihood without first sitting down and having a human, grown-up conversation?
And the only thing I could come up with?
Actions based in fear are the slippery slope; the beginning of the end for so many people. We fear we might not have enough and so we hang on too tightly. We fear we might not be enough and so we try to take someone else down. We fear we won’t be loved enough and so we love so hard it depletes everything we have.
The results of fear usually involve us ending up alone and wondering how we got there.
But the root of fear…that’s a different story altogether. Every shrink and scientist and wise old grandmother can give you a causal factor as to why fear is so physiologically ingrained in us. But here’s what I think: I think the human experience can be so vast, so awe-inspiring, so overwhelmingly, breathtakingly beautiful, that we begin to think it’s not possible we could mean anything. For Pete sake, God keeps the PLANETS spinning in perfect time. How could our one, single life make any difference at all? And if it doesn’t…then we are meaningless.
And that’s scary.
Instead of focusing on the root causes of fear, we can address them by going out and being positive, graceful, nurturing both to people and about people. Because if we don’t let the fear win and we love to our fullest potential of loving, we could find out that we are far more important than we ever knew possible. So necessary, in fact, that our vastness leaves our range of control.
And that’s even scarier.
One of my top 5 favorite quotes in the entire world is from Marianne Williamson:
“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 does not serve the world. There is 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 are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Talking smack, even behind closed doors, EVEN IF YOU THINK IT’S TRUE, is playing small. We’ve all done it. I have. Sometimes it’s mean-spirited and sometimes it just feels good to have someone agree with you. No matter the motive or the excuses you give yourself about why it’s ok, it’s playing small. It’s the smallest version of you. You were made to be something better, to do something better, to say something better. You were made to grow.
So grow bigger.
Grow more forgiving.
And grow more graceful.
You’ll want someone to do that for you one day, too.