One of my favorite quotes if often falsely attributed to Nelson Mandela because he used part of it in his inaugural speech. For some time, I believed it came from him as well, but thanks to research, I discovered the original author and the full quote. Turns out it was even better before editing:
“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.” -Marianne Williamson
I have to slow down and read this line by line in order to digest it’s magnitude. At first I questioned this. I was not sure if i fully agreed with the quote. It made me uncomfortable. The realization that I might be most afraid of myself…my potential… shook me to my core. It challenged all my perceptions. ALL my perceptions. I don’t easily shrink back from a challenge. Its a self imposed trait I have developed over time. The idea in this quote was something I needed to face and clarify in my mind before I took on anything else.
As I rolled this idea around in my head I came across scientific evidence that our brains can be amazingly “re-programmed” or restructured through neuroplasticity. I began to read material on the subject and it gave me great hope that my life could indeed be an abundant life. I was looking for something more than normal help for Bipolar, OCD, PTSD and other things that held me back from my full potential. I had achieved many amazing things in my life, but always felt impaired. Was it true? Could I be afraid of my potential? Was that what was really holding me back?
I realize now that it was.
It has now been several years since I began to write this post and I would like to finish it today, so let me update you what I’ve been through and discovered.
In short, I’ve been through more than I could hope to convey in a captivating way so forgive me the abbreviated way in which I list this off:
- Ive overcome enough to be officially taken off of all medicines pertaining to Bipolar or PTSD etc. (Thanks to Dr. Caroline Leaf and her curriculum- “who Switched OFf My BRain?”) It has been 5 years now! I’m doing great.
- I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease and small Kidneys to boot.
- Was hit with Credit Fraud/Identity Theft – caused us to suddenly lose nearly everything we had worked so hard for: house, business, savings etc.
- Enlarged Heart/ Leaky valves
- I actually flatlined (basically died) in 2015
- HAd to put my best friend and long time companion down in 2015… Dugan the Bull Mastiff/ St Bernard (Same year I had to put down 2 other family dogs) :(
- Have moved 3 more times since I started writing this… not the moves you dream of making… more like the kind you dread: unexpected, fraught with stress and unexpected events, each move seemingly making your life harder.
There is so much more but that gives you a glimpse.
Meanwhile, I’ve had some grand achievements – accomplished things I didn’t think i’d ever be able to do and learned so much more about myself and my faith in God. I am truly amazed at how much Im able to do everyday and how much love there is to give and how many opportunities are opening up to me. I have certainly been through a tough season, but my eyes are fixed on the future now, more than ever with a sense of what it takes to get there. …how to be unstoppable.
It really does start with understanding that we were created by a loving and interested God, who creates something (anything… all things) to continue growing and achieving in all ways.
If you really understand this, and apply the science of neuroplasticity (or as the Bible describes it: “the renewing of (your) mind”), you can begin the long journey of training yourself to become unstoppable. Isn’t that ultimately what we want for ourselves and others? To overcome? To be the type of person who inspires others? Bigger than what tests us?
Perhaps you don’t know how strong you really are. I don’t know… maybe you feel depressed and even suicidal! Perhaps you feel weak and defeated or you have simply given into the idea of not thinking about it anymore because its all just too overwhelming. If so, you have confirmed that you need this. Those feelings are symptoms of a stoppable mindset. IF you don’t change something in your thinking now, you are already set up for more disasters. I have news for you: MORE PROBLEMS ARE COMING. I’m writing this as a warning to you. Im also writing this as an answer to those problems.
But, Its a long story… like the title of this Blog. Many people don’t have time for a long story. They want it all summarized for them: “Just give me the answer key”, they plead. Those people are always missing the best parts of the story and frankly, don’t have any depth to them except a selfish depth in all they do. They are too quick to fix or flee when a problem arises. They do not wish to build trust or relationships, they want to purchase everything and do it on credit. They want the easy path.
Don’t be like that all the time. Spend the time to train for something you cannot possibly understand. It always happens… people learn a foreign language, just to improve themselves, only find out later in life, it opened the door for them to get the job they had always wanted or find the love of their life etc. People learn an artform having no idea when they start where it will take them – I just loved doing art – I had no idea it would take me around the world!
All the best stories I have are Long Stories… my life is a long story. Yours is too. If you think of it like a sprint race, you may end up thinking you are a loser. If you quit now, you may very well be one. (!) However, if you realize there is a long road ahead, and that realization means: you aren’t in the race you once thought you were… well, that makes it all different now, doesn’t it? it means you have time to learn and grow and find yourself. Perhaps you even have time to search for God and the purpose that was intended for you to find.
Oh! I forgot to add a new development in my life – My kidneys have been improving and now I am training for the Chicago Marathon. I have my Dr’s permission and Im being careful to not make my health concerns worse. It’s another way to be unstoppable and yet another long story.