Elliot BayI sit in the early afternoon sun, at a table by the waterfront overlooking Eliot Bay. There’s hardly a cloud in the sky on this amazingly warm October day. A train is slowly, but loudly rolling over the tracks behind me; seagulls squawk all around. Familiar sounds in my daily routine.

I rarely eat out, especially alone. I don’t enjoy eating in public by myself. I feel very self-conscious and depressed so usually I will bring my lunch or order something to go and eat in my cubicle at work. It’s an isolating time to entertain myself with recent Facebook posts or emails. Sometimes I just work and eat without really taking a break. I’m an introvert trying to come out of my shell from time to time.

I order comfort food and coffee with a shot of Baily’s to calm my anxiety at sitting by myself in a restaurant. I’m too old to feel so insecure. I get out my pen and notepad and jot down notes. Goals. Things I want to do. I start this blog post to distract me from my loneliness.

I recall a quote; one of my favorite quotes of all time. I was reminded of it yesterday when I watched Akeelah and the Bee with my 10 year old daughter. It was also a prominent lesson in the film Invictus but in both movies was attributed to an inaugural speech given by Nelson Mandela. However, it actually was not part of his speech but rather a quote by Marianne Williamson.

“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”

The warmth of the sun feels good on my back. I look out on the water and reflect on these powerful words. I see it as a message of striving to reach our full potential in life. Let nothing (or no one including yourself) hold you back or keep you from realizing your power.

I’m comforted by the delicious food, the warm (slightly spiked) coffee, and the sunshine and head back to the office. I’m ready to forge on…

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