I have this recurring fear that I am Too Much: Too Much for people, for situations, for a job, for the Church. When this fear comes to the surface, the fear is crippling paralyzing. The fear creeps up when I’m excited and someone says “whoa – calm down” or if I’m passionate and someone’s eyes glaze over or if I’m enthusiastic and others dismiss me. I stop. I grow silent and rigid and feed myself a steady monologue of judgment.
But lately, I’ve been thinking that perhaps Too Much isn’t a monster, but a good thing that happens to scare people. What do you think?
“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 frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ 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 people won’t feel insecure around you. 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 all of us. And when 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.”
—from A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson
“If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desire, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
—from The Weight of Glory, by C.S. Lewis