105 Ways to Give a Book

Poetry Friday: Our Deepest Fear

I wanted to post here in the last couple of days, but I needed a little break. I wish I could convey the depth of chaos that has enveloped my last two weeks. A thirty-six hour power outage. Then two solid days without air conditioning in a brutal heat wave. Another power outage on Tuesday night until the wee hours of the morning. And all this while coordinating the 48 Hour Book Challenge, starting my job at my new branch (which is lovely), and finishing up the last week at school.

Some of this activity has been fun. I loved having tea with friends and watching my daughter enjoy her Brownie party. Some things have been stressful, like trying to finish my Girl Scout money report, realizing that I’ve made a big mistake in it somewhere and now need to dig — literally — through records to find out where the right paper is with the right number. Some things have been amusing. I’d say putting an ice pack in the hamster cage so Honey Bear doesn’t die of heat stroke falls in this category. My 8:00 a.m. call to a friend asking for anything for a Christopher Columbus costume for that very day was also a rather comic moment.

But in all of the chaos and activity and comedy, the thread running through it all is that my sixth grader is leaving elementary school today. It’s hard to believe. I remember that we made sure to move before kindergarten started so that she would have the same school the whole time. I remember taking her in that first day and looking around to find her little friends so that she wouldn’t be scared. One of the two girls we discovered that day is still her best friend now.

When I had a Bridging ceremony for my sixth grade Junior troop, they wanted a poem. Being that all of them forgot to find one, and being that I knew that they would forget, I brought my own. It’s one that I’ve seen a few times in Poetry Friday, but I want to share it on my own site today in honor of my daughter’s big move to middle school.
Our Deepest Fear
by 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’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.

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.
Poetry Friday round-up is over at A Wrung Sponge today. I’ll be back next week with news, reviews, and interviews. Shine on.


Jules at 7-Imp said...

I've always loved this, and it was actually read at the funeral of a dear friend of mine over ten years ago. I couldn't imagine a more fitting charge, of sorts, to everyone who was there to go off and live in this way, the way my friend did.

I think of this Williamson piece a lot. I stop and remind myself of the wisdom in it.

Sorry about all your chaos, but congrats to your daughter!

jama said...

Thanks for sharing this, MR. I had seen the beginning but not the whole poem. Wise words. My nephew just had his 5th grade graduation. These passages seem to come so quickly.

Sara said...

You are that "presence that liberates" for those girls. Congrats to you, all those bridging, and your daughters.

I love that ice pack in the hamster cage story. How could you tell if it was working? Did he curl up near it?

Mary Lee said...

I've done my time (a total of 10 summers) in un-air conditioned abodes in the steamy midwest. I remember when the temperature in my first apartment went up above 90 degrees and the cat lay along the baseboards and panted. I've felt for you (and the hamster) these last weeks. I'm glad you made it through all your hoops and over all your hurdles. Congrats to you and your daughter on this milestone.

Kelly said...

I love this poem! Congrats to your daugher btw. It all starts with Middle School :)

Cloudscome said...

You are amazing. I can't believe you've done so much in the last few weeks and sweated through the heat as well. I find that poem so encouraging - thanks for sharing it.

I am sorry I totally missed your 48 hour challenge this year. I've been swamped over here too and knew I couldn't do it justice. I am proud of you for running it so well!

Congrats to your daughter too, and all the bridgers.

Kelly Fineman said...

Great poem pick for the occasion - and how wonderful of you to treat them like the young women they are becoming, instead of the children they are starting to leave behind. I'll bet the mommies boo-hooed (I know I would've!)

TadMack said...

My sister is also going into seventh next year -- it seems like she needs something for this, too. A bridging ceremony. I love the idea, and the poem.

I'm feeling you on the no AC, by the way. Just being back in the U.S. for two weeks and my body is in shock. I seriously considered driving with those ice packs on my back. If it works for the hamster...

laurasalas said...

Lovely post. Just lovely. I had no qualms/fears when my kids each started school. But having them move into jr high and high school last year was hard!

Hope things settle down soon.

msmac said...

I love the poem it is so fitting and poignant for the new phase of life. A daughter leaving elementary school, and the world will become slightly larger. I hope the weather has cooled. We could use some of that heat out west. The weatherman calls it "Junuary".

Charlotte said...

Lovely poem!