Do You Hide Your Light?

By Kitty J. Boitnott, Ph.D., NBCT, RScP

Certified Life Strategies & Stress Management Coach


I remember as a very young child, learning a church song called, "This Little Light of Mine." I suspect you learned it too. This is how it went:

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. 

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. 

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. 

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.  

I'm gonna take this light around the world and I'm gonna 

Let it shine. 

I'm gonna take this light around the world and I'm gonna 

Let it shine. 

I'm gonna take this light around the world and I'm gonna 

Let it shine. 

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. 

According to what I could learn about it once I decided to write about it today, the song was written around 1920 by Harry Dixon Lee, a composer and teacher. 

My recollection is that I learned the song during one long ago Bible Vacation School at my maternal grandmother's Baptist church. I remember singing it to myself and considering its message even as a child. It resonated with me because I remember thinking that letting my light shine was just exactly opposite to my nature which was to try to blend in and be invisible. I recall struggling with the idea that I should let my inner light "shine." I never doubted that I had an inner light, mind you...my struggle was in letting it shine without fear of having it extinguished by the harsh criticism of others less impressed with my inner light.

I imagine you are also familiar with Marianne Williamson's poem/prayer/admonishment entitled, "Our Greatest Fear." In case you don't recall it, it goes like this:

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.


This, too, is about letting our inner light shine. Yet, we too often shrink away from doing just that.

What I wish you to consider for yourself, today, however, is what a glorious place this world would be if you made a decision right here and right now not to ever sell yourself or the other people in your life short by being afraid to live with your light fully shining for all to see all the time. What a difference might we make individually and collectively if we simply decided never to be afraid again of letting our brilliance shine forth fully and fabulously. 

It is time for each of us to let our lights shine. We owe it to ourselves. We owe it to the world. It is time. Let your light shine.


Kitty Boitnott
Boitnott Coaching, LLC

Glen Allen, VA 23060
United States of America