Don’t fake playing small

February 15, 2024 | 33 comments

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.

~ Marianne Williamson

Letting your light shine is not competing with your neighbor. It’s living true to who you are. If done unselfishly, it blesses others.

33 thoughts on “Don’t fake playing small”

  1. hmmm??
    How do you know if you are behaving ” small “?
    For some behaving small is a survival tactic. Just like for others behaving boisterous, has become a survival tactic. So how do you move beyond what has become a safe place? I know this comes back to letting go of fear, and allowing ourselves to trust. But, for many letting go of a trained behavior, that has kept one safe for so long isn’t always easy. What would you suggest?

    1. Yes – a survival tactic especially for women. Strong women get knocked down, physically as well as in other ways.
      I am at last letting my light shine and enjoying it, but I have lost family (who needed to keep me small) in the process.

      1. Dear Janie,, Our God is Love – He does not cause anything but good for us. We need to discover that we are always safe, because we dwell in God, Spirit and not in matter as it seems to be. The Bible tells us of our safe place in Psalm 91. People in wartime have been saved from harm by praying with this Psalm.

        Christ Jesus showed us our true being, in which we do not need to fake being either small or big. Jesus humbly acknowledged God as the only power, and that our Father
        Mother-God loves us all dearly. Psalm 23 is also very helpful – we are in the care of our Shepherd, God – as beautifully described at the beginning of our Lesson Sermon this week. When we find out more about God, we begin to find our true selves in His likeness, and we can humbly let Him show us our true joyful selves, just naturally. But it needs our own dedication towards seeking and finding our Father-Mother, and learning to trust in Him. But we have been given the ability to do this.

        I hope this is some help – it is so worthwhile to find our true freedom in this way,
        which is the only true way. With love, Maggie.

        I am sure there are some in this SpiritView family that can give you
        specific examples of how they have been helped in similar circumstances.

    2. Please be kind and gentle with yourself. Recognize how that was taught in the dominant culture.. Thank the strategy’s intention to keep you safe. Make it a point throughout your waking day to notice when/how/where you are safe. Dictate a voice memo or write them down. Cherish and bask in those experiences of safety without adding a ,”Yeah,but…”. Then get curious and observe the thoughts about safety. When you are feeling grounded in your present-moment safety, play a little bit experimenting, stretching, and trying out other ways to experience and express safety. Different posture, breathing, facial expression, open hand, relaxed muscles, eye movement/focus, volume, waiting or speaking up, humming, dressing more flamboyantly or modestly…, etc. Play with ways of being the opposite, starting with little changes in safer situations. If you’re used to being small, play large/visibl/audible; if you’re used to being large and in charge play quiet/small.. Expand your repertoire and comfort zone. Thank and trust God making you and your world safe.

    3. We must decide on being small and insignificant or honest and truthful. I’ve been accused of not speaking up when in fact I’m clearly listening and deciding what needs to be done. Be true to yourself and stop worrying what others think of you.

    4. Being like a gospel cowgirl, singing like you really hear singing!… not with voice and ears but from the joy within..having Christ is the best company, like his Father.. love is beyond the old barriers, the old rules are forgiven in fact were they anything , now we see Gods in the saddle
      there never was a gate that was closed, .. God has the courage, stamina assurance… purity, we already are blessed. Thanking everyone for being ..Now .. in Gods presence, Wow.

    5. Dear Janie, I was thinking along the same lines as Maggie. Yes it can seem to feel “safe” to be contracted and “small.” But our true and continuous safety, the real safety comes from God. We can hopefully get to the point where we don’t even think in terms of safety/danger, because even the word safety implies that there is some danger “out there” that we need protection from. I am slowly learning that when we pray we don’t start with the problem (belief of danger) but with the Truth, our ongoing harmony in God. We can keep studying more and more about God, His laws and our relationship to Him. I think that is the way to go.

    6. I’ve found I have to be wary of MW quotes. They trigger all these ‘me’ thoughts. As alluring as they sound.They’re not quite grounded in the absolute allness of God,

      Need to get both the ‘you’ and the ‘I’, not to mention the ‘them’ out of the picture.
      Jesus didn’t work for greatness, to impress others with his importance.

      He worked to impress everyone with the might of GOOD, not himself.
      “Call no man good. Only one is good which is God.”
      Yet he said we are the light of the world.

      No sun ray shines on its own, right? Whose responsibility is it to make you shine?
      No sun ray has the power to or ability to shine brighter or dimmer.Why?
      No sun ray has the power or ability to dim ittself or outshine another. Right? Wouldn’t you have to call an electrician to climb into the lights source and turn some switch there?
      No ray of sunlight has to contend to outshine another.
      Because all beams are ENTIRELY sourced and energized in and by the sun, ENTIRELY at one with the source of light. You are in reality ENTIRELY one with God, your very life.

      Jesus said, “Let your light so shine that they may see your good works and glorify YOUR FATHER (the source of your light — not yourself) which is in heaven.
      Your motive is to glorify God, good, to stand for God, good, not for yourself!

      Like Moses, Jesus was very meek. It was all about God, not him.. “I can of mine own self do NOTHING.” “Why do you call me good? There is none good but one, my Father which is in heaven.”
      The more we focus thought AWAY from self and, like a sunflower, turn it on God;s glorious wonders of goodness, of infinite, merciful love, of truth, intelligence creativity, kindness,, etc. etc., the more our thoughts fill with light, and the brighter we shine, the brighter our light shines on others, showing their wonderful worth as fellow rays of God-light.

      MBE: “Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you.” Not one thought of hatred can reach you; not one memory of it, not one belief in its reality, presence or influence. That panoply, that total armor, is God’s actual infinite allness. Staying there in prayer you are JOYOUSLY safe and can move forward as effortlessly and limitlessly as a sunbeam.

  2. Children don’t always shine. That is where the shrinking begins. “Just WHO do you think you ARE?!?!? The small, frightened, confused child soon learns that the correct answer is “…nobody…” Head hung in shame for being happy to share an accomplishment. I’d love to write. I’ve loved writing since I learned to read. But…that voice still asks me that question and I can’t seem to answer in any other way. It isn’t practical. I find myself praying for guidance yet all these “Ya, but”, and ” Really, you ?!?” Fears keep me stuck. Recently, on a job that I loved working at, these weaknesses revealed themselves without my knowing. I was attacked emotionally and mentally. As much good as I provided to that institution, ultimately I was forced to leave for the cruelty I perceived. It was exactly that ” Who do you think you are?!?” belittling, and as hard as I prayed, I could not overcome it. I still feel the effects of an unhappy childhood. Step out of my story? I’m homeless even though I have a significant savings, I’m unemployed even though I possess excellent skills in my field. These are self-imposed limitations. I do not want to continue to be led through life by these conditions. I will continue to trust the Eternal as I walk through this valley. I also Trust that I am being led out. I believe that this, too, shall pass. I am grateful for God’s abundant Love and care, and patience. I am grateful for Christian Science.

    1. Dear Somebody,
      I think we can all relate in some way as to what you have written. At least I can,
      with sometimes questioning who other so-called “mortals” portend us to be.
      Some thoughts that may be helpful. Please take – in their spiritual light. Not sure
      who wrote some:

      “Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?”

      “What is a friend? I will tell you… it’s someone with whom you dare to be yourself” –
      Frank Crane

      “Never blame anyone in your life. Good people give you happiness. Bad people
      give you experience. The worst people give you a lesson. And the best people
      give you memories.” [Of course in CS, we know that there are only GOOD people,
      as children of God!]

      “Life’s hardest lesson is to Trust God and Know He loves you. Trust and time will
      put you where you’re suppose to be” – Skip Wolfford [Again… as children of
      God we are Always in Spirit in His Kingdom of Love and Peace and time is
      irrelevant in God’s eternity]

  3. Somebody, that was amazing. Tell your story, now that you are strong enough to see beyond the people who squished you and see them as beautiful. God is always leading us to the next best thing if we pay attention. Lots of love.

    1. Thank you j,
      For again providing an article that addresses the current topic directly. Personality seems to be owned, accepted as part of who we are, when actually our being is pure reflection. We express not our own invented qualities (that we “possess,”) but as transparencies allowing good to be shared. How dare someone criticize or diminish reflected qualities! It’s not about you (as a limited mortal), subject to judgment. A good response in thought might be, “I’m just expressing what I revere and believe and love and am naturally revealing; it is not a personal me, it is the great I AM,” Of course, the less dense our sense of self, the closer we are to God, the easier to step aside as error suggests we turn down the light or volume. God is not impressed. MBE says, page 591, that God, Mind is “the only I or US.” Pure gold.

  4. Wow! This is a deep topic!! I could write a book on this one !!!.. But I think it all
    comes down to knowing who we all are – Spiritually, as God’s image and likeness.
    Growing up for various reasons, I shrunk from letting my light shine as much and
    was rather shy, hoping not to be noticed much. I Knew my real identity but didn’t
    project it to a world that didn’t seem to think like I did. Then for decades, this same
    seeming force of oppression kept me from also letting my light shine the way I am
    able to thankfully do now. Having built that wall up, trusting was an issue that is
    difficult to sometimes peep over. Like Pee had mentioned, sometimes we are
    seemingly “kept small” by others who have (mortal) egos that keep themselves
    being in control, by keeping us small. Not so in CS, of course and overcoming
    these false feelings of seeing ourselves as inferior is such a blessing! I love sharing
    these spiritual ideas here.

  5. Thank you dear Angel! I love to study your and other’s wonderfully metaphysical trutjideas! I enjoy reading all these inspiring ideas; they are very helpful!♡

    Thank you very very much SpiritView!.
    Mostly when I think, “0, just a few sentences what will come out of it”, then it results in great and inspiring discussions which help me a lot! Thank you dear Evan and dearest SpiritView friends!♡

    Man is great, he is the highest idea of God, he is made in the image and likeness of God as the Bible says . O, I still have to learn that these divine truths really belong to each one of us forever ! Am very grateful I c a n learn more and more in Christian Science with divine loving guidance!

    1. just I decided to ask you as a German what means “Don`t fake playing small” ?
      Could someone kindly explain it a bit?

    2. Thank you, dear Uta – your gentle, kind, loving words are always so appreciated.
      We are all on journeys at differing levels, (mortally speaking), altho all being
      children of God’s Love. Similar and/or even differing experiences help us be
      empathetic to others in their quest for understanding. We are all learning.
      Even Mrs. Eddy revised her writings many times as her knowledge increased.
      Being CS is not always easy, especially in situations where there are not others
      around that help to support the spiritual ways of thinking and also as children,
      challenged with seeming issues, that sometimes seem out of our control. As
      mentioned in my comment, classmates thought differently about such things
      as drinking, drugs and other things, which as a student of CS, were not
      compatible, so even in trying to live as a representative of Spiritual joy, it was
      not always easy as a child or teen in a “materialistic” world. Our values are
      always important in trying our best to adhere to these principles in all walks
      of life, but who is anyone to judge?
      Uta, I think what Evan meant by “fake playing small” – is pretending to be
      something we aren’t or pretending to be less important, to make someone
      else feel more important. I would be interested to hear how others interpret
      that also and it’s a great question.

      1. Hi dear Angel, thank you very much for your comment. I love them, as well as those from Rose and Carol and many other very helpful and inspiring comments here!!

        Yes, Angel, so about I do understand it, as well. Thanks very much for your interesting comment!♡

  6. Here is the larger quote from Marianne Williamson and the name of the book it was excerpted from:
    “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, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles.”

    She has some great ideas (she’s currently running for President in the US).

  7. Thank you, Evan and all. What a marvelous dialogue today! No, we do not need to “belittle” ourselves in any way, since we are all God’s perfect children, every moment. We can know this and live it every day, starting now!

    1. Thanks Evan , thanks to all at good idea,( angel’s one)
      Can make a difference to put us back on God’s highway !

    When you think less of you
    and more of Me,
    you’ll find that all is Me,
    including you.
    by Eric Nelson CSS October 9, 2023

  9. This topic reminded me of a pertinent extract from Nelson Mandela’s 1994 Inaugural Speech.

    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 doesn’t serve the world.
    There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that
    other people won’t feel insecure around you.
    We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
    It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
    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.

    1. Thank you Pat for sharing Nelson Mandela’s speech — throughout all his suffering, he never forgot who he was and who he belonged to.

  10. What Pat wrote, I must ask, why is our deepest fear that we are powerful beyond measure? And why is it our light, and not our darkness that most frightens us? That’s not quite clear to me. I think this is good as child of God, as we reflect all the good.

  11. One of the most beautiful people I have known was physically not good looking at all. However, her light shined brightly and she was beautiful.

    I am one of the blessed people who was raised to be all that I could be and was never put down as a child. Disciplined? Oh yes, but for cause. 🙂 The result of that was that when I became an adult in many cases (not all) I was able to treat the “meanies” with kindness and the meanness turned into kindness or sometimes friendship. Not always, of course, but being who you really are and not allowing anyone to put you down works for good in most cases.

    Blessing and Peace to each of you who are struggling with growing in grace and learning to let YOUR light shine!

  12. Dear Granny G – I agree what you wrote about letting our light shine. I believe in
    God’s eyes, we are All lovely and beautiful regardless what the physical appearance
    may Seem to be. To see someone as not being beautiful is not seeing them as God
    made them, perfect in every way. To get over the false belief that sometimes Appears
    to be, is seeing everyone in our Father/Mother’s qualities, not the mortal thought models
    of mortal mind’s adaptation – standards that most could not be, even if they tried…
    being younger, taller, etc. etc. These ideals are thrown at us from every angle, it seems.
    We express inner, innate loveliness, even if others do not seem to see us that way,
    because of perhaps a mortal mind picture or so-called event that may have seemed to
    have changed who we are…but our Real identity is Perfection.
    Dear Uta – I Think what Pat’s message is saying is that when faced with challenges,
    sometimes it is easier to Not make attention to us and to shy away from certain
    situations. But regardless, we Are reflections of God and God’s light is within us to
    shine. Under some situations I have found that sometimes we are belittled for our
    beliefs and put down, but we know that within us, is the Truth of God’s identity as
    God’s child, even in these times… perhaps the “do not cast pearls before swine”
    moments. We can still be kind, loving, thoughtful…and still shine.
    Not sure if I understand correctly, but it is my interpretation.

  13. PS. I think the most important thing in our journey through life, is to guide
    our thoughts to stay within the sheltered path of
    Truth and Love.

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