Let's talk inspiration

I suddenly found a few free minutes this evening. So I'll take a break from talking about runs and training. How about inspiration? What demented, insane little voice convinces me to wake up at 5:15 in the morning to run 10+ miles before a 10-hour work day and do the same thing the next day? When I'm exhausted and dehydrated and sleepy and realize I'm only halfway through the run, what keeps me going?

Well, to be honest, there are a lot of factors. But about a year ago I heard a quote--as did everybody who watched Akeelah and the Bee--and this quote got stuck in my head. And when I got home I looked it up and printed out the whole paragraph:

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,
but that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.
We ask ourselves,
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
handsome, talented and 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 were born to make manifest
the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
And, as we let our own light shine,
we consciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

So, to be honest, I think this is the most amazing insight into the human mind...ever...period. I mean, think about it: naturally you think there are limits to what you can do. You know that if you touch fire you'll get burned, if you drive too fast you'll get a ticket, if you cheat on a test the teacher will find out, etc. You think there are limits because you've tested them and found them. You live knowing the limits of what you can do...you get used to them and accept them as the way the universe works.

But what Ms. Williamson is saying here is that this is not how the universe works. You can, since you are human, do anything: there is no limit as to what you can achieve. The limits you have are self-imposed--you can be, and have the faculty to be "powerful beyond measure."


Let that sink in for a minute.


It still blows my mind.

And how does this apply to running? Well, quite simply when I'm tired, and sore, and aching, and ready to stop running, I remember that I too am "powerful beyond measure." There's really no major difference between me and the Kenyans, or Lance Armstrong, or Deena Kastor. It stirs something deep inside of me. It keeps me going and makes me strong.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Beautiful passage - I hadn't heard it before. But it is true. You choose everyday what you will do with what you have. It is up to you. Thanks for sharing!