Week 15 – Scroll IV – More Challenges to The Old Blueprint
“I am nature’s greatest miracle.
Since the beginning of time never has there been another with my mind, my heart, my eyes, my ears, my hands, my hair, my mouth. None that came before, none that live today, and none that come tomorrow can walk and talk and move and think exactly like me. All men are my brothers yet I am different from each. I am a unique creature.”
– Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman in the World. New York: Bantam Books, 1974
I have always thought that there is no one quite like me in the world. I’ve actually told my older daughter that the world cannot handle more than one of me, and I honestly believed it. You see, when I told my daughter and myself that the world did not need, and could not handle, more than one of me, it was because I was seeing all the worst parts of me – the pessimist, the quick-to-anger, disorganized, procrastinator that
is was me. I had been conditioned to think that it was good that no one else could and would ever be like me, because honestly, who would want to be, and why would they?
I’m not saying I thought I was a TERRIBLE person. I just saw more negatives than positives, and it was easier to just think that was the way I was, with no REAL hope of change. No matter that deep in my soul I had dreams, and I felt like I had something of value to share with the world; the outward appearance was that I was average, and ordinary. Glimpses of greatness were relegated to thinking that my greatest contribution was to be my children. Frankly, I would be ok with that if it were true.
Scroll IV of The Greatest Salesman in the World challenges me.
In it, Mandino writes:
“I am not on this earth by chance. I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand.”
“No beast, no plant, no wind, no rain, no rock, no lake had the same beginning as I, for I was conceived in love and brought forth with a purpose. In the past I have not considered this fact but it will henceforth shape and guide my life.”
So…if I apply this in my life, not only am I one-of-a-kind, but I also have purpose. Being a Christian, I already knew this deep down, so no real surprise there. After all, God doesn’t make junk! I need to embrace my individuality, not be ashamed of it. This does not mean that I stay stuck, mired in my old blueprint of less-than-optimal performance and mediocrity. It does not mean that I stay addicted to the old peptides that made me feel comfortable when I lose my temper; rather, it means that I owe it to myself – and dare I say it? the world – to become the best me that I can.
This past Christmas Eve was an emotional one. I had gotten on my older daughter’s case about falling behind on some things related to scholarships, etc. Understandably, she was not happy, because, after all, it was Christmas Eve, and we were on Christmas break. She wanted to hear nothing about scholarships again until after January 1. At the end of the session where I let her know I was not happy, I broke down, telling her how much I believe in her, and how much I want for her. I shared some things with her about my own high school career that she had never heard before. And then I told her that she is my inspiration – that her sweet, gentle spirit is what I crave, and that when I look to her as a model of what I should be. That made her cry, so we were both crying. We clung tightly to each other, and some minutes after, she read this hugely popular (with good reason!) quote that a former teacher had shared with her in a letter to her for her 16th birthday.
“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. Harpercollins 1992
So – what do I do now? I will learn what it is that I have to contribute to this world – and yes, my children are a big part of my contribution. And then I will, as Scroll III says, I will persist until I succeed.