It was one of my first major life lessons, from one of my first mentors. Her name was Janet, and she said to me: “The Universe is trying to teach you something.”
At the time, I was caught in a vortex of situations that were all very similar in nature. People were unhappy, people were angry, people were taking all of that out on me. And it was causing me a great deal of stress—at work, at home, in my heart.
That’s when Janet explained to me that when you keep facing the same predicament, the same situation, over and over, it’s a cosmic way of letting you know THIS IS SOMETHING YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO.
You know this phenomenon yourself, right? A little message that comes in and you barely notice. Another passes by and you glance. You almost trip over the third. But by the time you walk head-on into the fourth reminder, you start to get it. MAYBE THIS IS SOMETHING I NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO.
If you’ve been at this — life — for while, you start to recognize how the Universe often brings back these lessons for you to learn again. They arrive as gentle reminders, and if you’re lucky, you recognize them right away. “Oh yeah! That’s right!”
Such was the case for me this week. I’m gearing up to tackle my New Year’s intention of getting my writing published, and alongside my preparations has walked my old friend Fear.
Fear is clever. It disguises itself as all sorts of things: Rational Concern, Distractions, Other Priorities. But I couldn’t understand why it was showing up again. Surely I have slayed this dragon enough.
“What is holding me back?” I kept asking all week. In my head. Out loud. To dear friends. WHAT IS HOLDING ME BACK?
And then it arrived. A little reminder.
In yoga last week, the instructor began class with a short meditation and then read the following, familiar quote:
“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.”
And so it comes around again.
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“When It Comes Around Again,” ©2012 Jen Payne, Branford, CT.
Quote by Marianne Williamson, from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, as quoted by Nelson Mandela in 1994.