“People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”  ~ Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

I agree with Dr. Kubler-Ross’s statement in part. The truth is the light within us is always there; sometimes we forget that it is there. I just returned from our annual Lake Arrowhead retreat and am filled with awareness, not only of my own light, but also the light that resides in everyone else. I enjoyed the workshops done by Rev. Mike McMorrow from the Granada Hills Center for Spiritual Living. Rev. Mike had recently read Brenee Brown’s work, which is all about vulnerability and authenticity. It was great to see him practice these principles and in his own words not become a “girlie man.” It is great to be living in a both-and world rather than an either-or one. In a both-and world men and women can be powerful and tender, vulnerable and strong, resilient and pliable all at the same time. It was easy to see Rev. Mike’s light; he let it shine. Doing do, he set the consciousness for the rest of the retreat.

During the weekend, each pastor was scheduled to give a brief welcome, teach a lesson and facilitate a class. Dr. Moira, who is in charge of the program, introduced us both Friday night and Saturday morning, in such a way as to bring out our real selves — not a rehearsed, ego-driven self. This gave room to let the real light emerge.

My class was scheduled right after lunch on Sunday. We had been in meetings nonstop since Friday night. Sunday was a glorious sunny, summery day in Lake Arrowhead. I had prepared a workshop on Affirmative Prayer and was ready for whomever showed up. Honestly, I had doubts about having much attendance but had made enough copies of my worksheets for everyone who had registered. Much to my surprise, the room was filled. The workshop was great. Later a woman from Redondo Beach told me that I shouldn’t have been surprised that people chose to come to my workshop; she said I was a legend and people wanted to hear me speak! Wow! A legend!

I have been teaching something since I was a kid. i love it and it tends to be easy for me. Often it is harder for us to see our own light than it is for us to see someone else’s. Some people have a tendency to take their own skills for granted.

During the retreat, i noticed times of their great vulnerability and authenticity in most people! I also saw people playing small, even ones with a great big light!

Marianne Williamson reminded us of that tendency in A Return to Love:

“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”

If you are one of those people, now is the time to break the habit. Practice giving thanks for the good that is already yours, the skills you have and the talents with which you have been gifted.

Let your inner light shine so that the world can see your true beauty.