“When you’re trying hard to be your best, could you be a little less?” ~ Madonna
Or, as defined by my dictionary
Less (adj):a smaller amount or proportion of something
Do you live up to your full potential? Do you, and this is the deeper one, even want to?
I ask because being something, someone, can be scary. Trying, striving, maybe achieving but with no guarantees; does this make you want to hide your light under a bushel rather than blaze out in defiance of all detractors?
There’s a lot of people out there who like to keep people down. Witness the schadenfreude that comes out when someone perceived to have ‘made it’ topples from their successful perch. It’s less keeping up with the Joneses, more keeping the Joneses down.
I think there’s a meanness of spirit that comes out when we try to belittle others and hobble their talents. Is it because your life has not gone in ways you wanted that you feel the need to mock the achievements of others or to put down their dreams? It is neither pleasant nor acceptable. Your life is in your control; if you aren’t happy then change it, don’t take that frustration out on others.
However, our biggest detractor can be the one in our head. That little voice that says you don’t deserve that job, that you’d never be any good at it anyway, to flatten that secret hope in our heart. The three o’clock in the morning voice, insidious in its approach to tell us we can’t be or do what we want, that we will never be good enough. And we grow fearful, we lessen ourselves, we lose our bravery to try.
Yet we shouldn’t. Who are we to do that to ourselves? If there’s enough out there in the world trying to make us less then can’t we at least encourage ourselves to be more, to do more?
The following is a poem is by Marianne Williamson. If you’re not religious then please replace the mention of God with whatever your belief system is or just the universe in general if that works for you. But do take the time to read and think on the words.
Our Deepest Fear
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’s 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.
I think we should be a little less; a little less mean to and about others, a little less full of fear, a little less willing to be hobbled. But to be less ourselves? Never. You are you. Be you, to the best you can be, for as long as you can be.
Never getting any less.