‘A Return to Love’ by Marianne Williamson

March 31, 2011

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It’s our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves; who am I to be brilliant, to be gorgeous, talented and fabulous?

You are like a child of the Universe.  Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that others people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are born to make manifest the glory within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

by Marianne Williamson written in 1992

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Herman Kok February 2, 2012 at 2:55 am

The words used here were written by Marianne Williamson in her 1992 book ‘Return to Love’. It is not Mandela’s inaugural speech, nor did he quote these words in his speech. His speech can be found, among others, at http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Nelson_Mandela#Inaugural_speech_.281994.29 and http://www.anc.org.za/show.php?id=3132. You can also look at http://www.nelsonmandela.org/index.php/news/article/deepest_fear_quote_not_mr_mandelas/ where it is clearly stated that he had never used these words in a speech.


Phil March 22, 2012 at 10:05 am

This IS NOT a quote from Nelson Mandela but from a book called ‘A Return to Love’ by Marianne Williamson written in 1992. I have checked the texts of his speeches in both Cape Town and Pretoria and it is not even quoted in them. That does not stop it being a wonderful passage; it should just be correctly quoted.


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