There is no one like you in the world. Did you know that? OK, maybe you have an identical twin, but there is still no one exactly like you.

The world is made up of unique individuals who form the whole. Each is a cell in the body, so to speak. Everyone has a part to play and gifts to contribute.

What happens when one part of the body isn't functioning well? The other parts suffer. Do you see that everybody
matters? That includes you.

You matter.

One of the greatest and most meaningful experiences in life is giving yourself in community and service of others. I don't mean becoming a slave, but rather, offering who you are, your talents, your gifts, your insights, your energy to something greater than yourself.

I have worked with clients who don't believe that they have much to contribute to the world. They think that they are too flawed, that somebody else is better, that no one would notice anyway. They think they need to wait until they are in better condition before they can come out into life.

So instead of shining their light in community, they hide it in a small space where no one else can benefit. They become cave dwellers. No light in. No light out.

How about you? Are you a cave dweller?

Frankly, people get something out of their choices, even if their choices aren't good ones. Underneath the complaining, there is usually some kind of payoff that keeps people doing what they're doing. Along with the payoff is a price that they and others pay.

So, what is the payoff for staying in your cave?

$ Safety and comfort.
Everyone wants to be safe and comfortable. However, it becomes unhealthy when it is based in fear and avoidance.

When you isolate, you don't have to risk fear of failure, fear of success, looking bad in front of others, getting hurt, or hurting someone else.

You don't have to find out how bad you might be. You also don't get to find out how amazing you are.

What are the prices you pay for being a cave dweller?

$ Loneliness.
You are meant to be with other people in this life, otherwise you'd be on this planet all alone.

$ Lack of meaning.
Some of the greatest joy and meaning in this life is derived from contributing to something beyond your own story. If you don't know this to be true, then try it.

$ Stunted growth.
So much personal growth takes place as you interact with others. It happens along the way. When you stay hidden, you don't have access to many parts of yourself that long to be developed and healed.

What is the price that others pay?

$ Others miss you.
People don't receive the benefit of having you in their lives. They don't get to enjoy the gift that you are. The community suffers when its members don't show up.

Think of 3 major influences in your life; perhaps an author, a teacher, and an artist.

Can you imagine if they chose to withhold their gifts? What if they decided that they weren't good enough to offer anything? What if they said that it didn't matter and no one would miss them? Can you envision the loss?

Perhaps you would want to grab them and say, "But you don't realize how much you impact and benefit my life! Please, don't hide yourself!"

What if someone is saying that to you right now?

As a member of the community at large...a citizen of the world...what is your vision for yourself? How can you let your light shine?

I leave you with this famous quote from 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 G-d."

"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 G-d 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."

Author's Bio: 

Belinda Lams of Soul Organizer is a Certified Professional Life Coach, Professional Organizer, and speaker. She is passionate about helping people live from clarity and purpose. Belinda is available for coaching services by phone and can be reached at