Today, my daughter graduated middle school. She sang with the 8th grade chorus for the last time. She walked gracefully across the stage and got her diploma. She was showered with affection by her friends, her teachers, everyone.
We were cleaning out her locker when her math teacher said "Wait! Elayna! I have something for you!"
We went into the classroom, and the teacher said "I've known all year that I was going to give this to one of my students." She handed Elayna a piece of construction paper with a quote taped to it - a sign that had been on the door all year. When the teacher first read it at the beginning of the year, Elayna actually teared up... and, on occasion, when Elayna was having a hard time, she took her out to read it again. And she knew that Elayna was the one student who needed this most.
"You are amazing," the teacher said. "But you pull back. Stop doing that. Shine."
I've posted this here before, but I do it today for Elayna, who now has it hanging on her wall.
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 the Universe.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the Universe that is within us.
And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
All of you. Shine.