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An excerpt from A Return to Love by Mar­i­anne Williamson, from the chap­ter “Per­sonal Power”

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.

Cover of A Return to LoveWe ask our­selves, who am I to be bril­liant, gor­geous, tal­ented and 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 about you. We were born to 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.

This piece is often erro­neously cred­ited as being from Nel­son Mandela’s 1994 Inau­gu­ral Speech. This text does not, how­ever, appear in that speech, and Mar­i­anne Williamson’s book was pub­lished in 1992.