I owe you a thought from the movie Akeelah and the Bee. I mentioned last week that I watched this film, and it made a surprising impact on me.
The movie is somewhat framed by the following thought:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
I am continually in a process of understanding myself, of growth, development, becoming who I am intended to be. And it’s a struggle. I have big questions about who I am, what I am becoming. I wrestle with what I haven’t done, what I’m not likely to be.
Having spent a decent amount of time watching the recent Olympic games (and even attending one of the events), it is easy for me to look at the athletes–some of whom are half my age–and to wonder about the achievements and focus found in my own life.
An ongoing battle, which I’ve written about recently, is uncovering the passion at the heart of who I am. I wonder if the above quote might be relevant for me. I have tried to determine what barrier prevents me from becoming all that I imagine that I can be.
I wouldn’t have picked the word fear; I have long felt that I could be tremendously proficient in any number of endeavors, so long as I choose to truly invest myself. So what has gotten in the way of this full giving of myself to a particular sphere of life, occupation, skill, or calling?
Is there an undertone of fear, an unsettledness about what exactly I would actually become? If mediocrity is the norm, I could see how magnipotence would indeed be a source of intimidation.
After reading the opening quotation from a plaque on the wall, the title character, Akeelah, is asked by her mentor what it means.
She replies, “That I’m not supposed to be afraid?”
“Afraid of what?”
She concludes: “Afraid of…me?”
Am I afraid of the unknown aspects of who I can become? Have I relegated myself to relative powerlessness simply because it is unintimidating to do so?
It’s not fear of failure; it’s fear of achievement, transformation, metamorphosis into something as yet unimaginable, and thus, uncontrollable. Something indefinably powerful, ineffably sublime.
Also on this topic:
Am I a Hero? (essay)
Where is My Epic? (essay)
On the Shelf (poem)