“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.”  –Marianne Williamson

What are  you afraid of?

When I was in high school, each day was met with a pit in my stomach.  Sometimes I was nervous about schoolwork I hadn’t finished or tests I didn’t feel prepared for, or there was that pesky Speech class I had with my CrushWhoDoesn’tKnowIExist, or I was worried about facing the Mean Girls on my cheerleading squad.

Regardless of what I feared, the fact that my overarching experience was a plate of Scary seasoned with a bit of Joy was why most of high school came and went painfully for me.

If the Me I am today looks back on each source of fear the Me had back then I can see I had a choice each time.  More often than not, back then I chose to feel the Scary and to not feel the Joy.  Let’s take a look:

On Being Unprepared: What was I afraid of?  I was afraid my teacher would call on me and I would be humiliated by own inadequacy.  The perfectionist in me needed to feel wholly competent on each concept, and when I didn’t get something, I was too proud to seek out help or tutoring.  I didn’t want Everyone to truly, quantifiably know that I was unworthy, because then my parents would be correct in their minimizing barks in my direction.  I pushed myself to achieve, yet I sabotaged my own efforts at success by my nagging self-doubt.  I was the taffy being pulled between my parents’ limiting beliefs I embraced out of a misguided sense of loyalty and my own inkling of the brilliance of my Being.

On the CrushWhoDoesn’tKnowIExist:  His name was Mike, he was a Senior and he was gorgeous.  Unfortunately, the girl he did like, Mary Jo, was also in our class.  She seemed to have and be everything I didn’t and wasn’t.  Each day I was faced with my own irreconcilable Desire (Mike) and the proof (Mary Jo) of my Unworthiness.  Sometimes, though, what we want isn’t really that good for us.  I was the Honor Student, Cheerleader, State Swimming Champion, Junior Achiever.  Mike and Mary Jo were party-ers who skipped class and didn’t have a big plan for their future.  But they were so Cool…

On the Mean Girls: When I was hopping churches, reading Siddartha, and seeking the Truth, my cheerleader ‘friends’ were instigating fights with other girls and actively ostracizing me because I caught them cheating during the voting for cheerleading tryouts.  I loved cheering and dancing, but I couldn’t relate to the petty infighting that colored every practice and game.  What made the experience so painful was how important it seemed at the time for me to conform to a mold of Being that actively confined my Soul.

How could I have found the Joy in high school?  How can you find your Joy right now?

In each aspect of my Scary in high school I shrank from my true Self in an attempt to please others, to fit in, and to conform to the popular view.  What made my life uncomfortable was all the effort I spent Not Being Myself.  I cowered from my own brand of Amazing so other people would like me.

Now I know that, in fact, people would have gravitated more readily to the Me I really was, rather than the Me I thought they would have liked.

So be true to your Self.  Honor and Do and Be what you shine in, and avoid forcing yourself into a mold that doesn’t feel good.  Let your desire for each moment of every day be about feeling good, feeling your power, feeling what is authentically You.

You are truly Magnificent.