“I should start my own blog,” my mother proudly states, while sitting at the dinner table. I can see in her eyes that she is serious. I ask her why. She retorts, “Because I have given other people courage to try things.”
She smirks, “I have a following now after my trip to London,” as I get up to put my dinner plate in the kitchen sink.
This past December, my mother celebrated her fiftieth birthday in London. Before she left, she heard a mixture of encouragement, discouragement, and genuine shock at her decision to go across the pond by herself. However, her dreams did not waver nor was she discouraged. My mother is extremely stubborn, and here her hard-headedness prevailed.
Upon her return from her week long trip, she has encountered various co-workers, family members, and friends, who were all enthralled with her stories about London. More than anything, they seemed surprised that she went through with the decision to go to London by herself.
“My friend told me,” my mother begins her explanation, “‘I don’t even go to the movies by myself, and you decide to go across the world by yourself. I can definitely go to the movies by myself now. Matter of fact, I will go.'” I can see the excitement in her eyes that she has for her friend’s seemingly simple decision to attend a movie showing by herself. Another friend, she continues, wants to go to Canada, but is fearful. However, after hearing my mom’s story, she has decided that she is going to make the trip. Once again, I see that glow in my mom’s eyes as she recounts the encouragement that she is giving to people around her.
During the conversation, I tried to share a quote with my mom that I think explains this phenomena, but my mom appeared too excited and did not allow me the few seconds to share it.
“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
My mom did not take a trip to encourage others. Instead, she went to London because she had never been to Europe and more importantly wanted to do something special and unique for her birthday. In doing so, she unknowingly provided an example for others to follow. She demonstrated a fearlessness that others want to embody, but fear restricts. She allowed others to recognize that they too can do what they want to do.
Thus, I encourage you to “let [your] light shine.” You never know who will see your ray as hope and inspiration, and in turn shine their light.