Ironic, huh!? Considering the name of this blog, you would think I’ve always had a love of fireworks and food. Correction. I’ve always loved food and, until recently, I’ve had a fear of fireworks.
When I was younger, I always looked forward to the 4th of July. Seeing my cousins at family barbecues, going to the park to watch a baseball game. These annual holiday outings were one of the highlights of summer vacation.
The thrill of the holiday slowly diminished as a daunting, fearful doom set in…the first explosion of color and light in a pitch-dark sky. Once we were all gathered on the baseball field with our blankets and lawn chairs, we would wait until the sunlight completely disappeared for the big fireworks display to begin.
Shortly after the first firework lit up the sky, my mom, bless her heart, would usually end up sitting in the car with me while the rest of the family continued to ooh and awe at the dazzling show. For some reason I thought being inside the familiar confines of the vehicle would shield me from the catastrophic noise and blinding lights.
As I got older, there were years where I wouldn’t even attend the fireworks display in town. Why would I subject myself to an event that I was secretly terrified of?
Throughout the years I’ve extinguished my fear of fireworks. I’m not saying I don’t flinch at a sonic boom but I certainly don’t feel the need to take cover in the confines of a covered vehicle or building.
Embracing My Fear of Fireworks
Ironically, fireworks are something I’ve begun to resonate with over the past few years as a symbol of my own true spirit and the spirit that I see in others. The vibrant, colorful light that exists in each one of us – whatever that may be for each individual – is meant to be shared with the world. This newfound recognition of fireworks as a symbol for my passion and purpose was confusing, considering my former fears, and also sparked my curiosity.
Earlier this year, I was thinking about our annual 4th of July gathering and how much I loved bringing our family and friends together at our home, sharing food (of course there’s food), playing games, lighting off fireworks and making memories.
And then it dawned on me.
My former fear of fireworks was not just about the blaring commotion and blazing light. It represented my fear of letting my true self shine. My fear of launching my inner firework.
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This quote by Marianne Williamson expresses my insight perfectly…
“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 Principals of A Course in Miracles
Once I gave myself permission to embrace the true, authentic me, my fear of fireworks vanished.
We all need to do the same. Give yourself permission to just do you. Your true spirit may be illustrated by the sun, song lyrics or another visual or phrase. A firework is simply what resonates with me and is a visual that anchors me in my true, authentic state.
Don’t let your fears extinguish your sparks. That’s not what we were created to do.
Have you discovered your inner spark? What symbol/song/quote expresses your true spirit? Feel free to share in the comments section below.