The room suddenly goes dark and you find yourself alone and slightly confused. Once visible images have now melted into the darkness and everything fades to black. You blink your eyes and lift your hands in an effort to feel your way through the thick air. Your sense of hearing heightens to make up for the lack of sight and the sound of the creaking floor starts to make you question whether you are alone. Something ominous is certainly lurking in the corner. You are afraid. Your trembling body is in fight or flight mode and you know you can cry or you can scream. A stream of tears begin to flow down your cheeks and, for a moment, this emotional release feels good. Yet, when you open your newly moistened eyelids you find that the darkness still surrounds you. The frustration of this moment sinks so deep that the pit of your stomach collapses into your spine. You feel movement in your belly and can’t tell whether you going to vomit or scream. All you know is that something must escape. You can no longer hold it in. Falling to the floor you open your mouth wide and let out a scream so piercing that the windows begin to shake. Exhausted you fall to the floor and wait. You wait alone and cold in this new darkness that surrounds you.
The floor feels cold against your shaking body and defeat is setting in. You have tried fight and flight yet nothing has worked. You have no more tools in your box. You begin to surrender to this new state of bleakness. In your surrender, your mind becomes calm and your breath mild. You have given yourself permission to be still in the darkness. And, in this stillness, you notice that your eyes are slowly adjusting to the depths of gray surrounding you. Vague images begin to emerge and your eyes become fixated on a small, rectangular figure in the corner. It’s a light switch. Though you can barely make out the image, you know it’s there. Just knowing it’s there gives you the strength to peel yourself off the floor. You swim and sway through the murky air to find it. You must find this light. You must turn on this light. This light is the way out of the darkness. Your hands meet the cold wall. Still determined, you slide your fingers to the left and then a little more to the right until the smoothness turns into a bump. You have found the switch. You turn on the light and, just like that, the darkness is over.
We are all afraid of the dark. Even as babies, being surrounded by the unknown is frightening. It’s why we put night lights in the bedrooms of our children. We all want to see our surroundings and we want to know exactly what lies in our path. We light up our houses, our streets, and any space we might encounter to keep us safe from the unknown. But the reality is that in order to have light, we must have dark. For, it is the dark that enhances the light.
We experience darkness in a variety of ways. For some of us it’s the death of a loved one or divorce. For others it’s the loss of a job. And right now, for many, it’s the fear of transitioning to a new leader. As Americans we have many privileges, but also many challenges. We live in a young country that, collectively, is still learning and growing. The ego of this great nation is strong and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We need a healthy sense of ego to identify a sense of self. Ego is fine when it’s a passenger. The problem is that when the ego begins to take the driver’s seat we find ourselves in a constant state of fear that we will lose our sense of greatness. Any time we make decisions based on fear we are walking in the dark. Ego can support us but it can also be the very thing that shuts off the light and leaves us in the dark. What this election has shown us is that, as a nation, we are in need of healing light more than ever.
Regardless of what brings darkness into your life, it’s important to remember that we always have the option of turning on the light switch no matter how lost in the darkness we think we are. We each have an internal light that eternally shines brightly. Everyone has the opportunity to shine this light regardless of what you do, how much money you make, who you love, or what you have done in your past. This light is a gift and we each have the right and responsibility to let it shine and to light the path for ourselves and for others.
This light comes through us in the ways that we creatively express the love we have to give. So, if you are experiencing darkness, now is the time to rise up and shine. Express your art, your song, your poetry, your yoga, your teaching and any other of your talents that serve humanity. Keep love in your heart and kindness in your actions and you will pave the way towards healing for us all.
We are a collective group of beings so if you are living in darkness then others are as well. Help them and yourself by shining your light in this way. Just as a seed must be planted into the dark, cold soil in order to bloom so too must our creativity be placed into a season of darkness to shine the brightest. Our creativity is our greatest gift. By using your energy to nurture your gifts, you are cultivating fertile soil for goodness to thrive. And goodness is what we need to move out of the darkness and into the light.
You have a choice to walk in fear or love. Fear is darkness and love is light. Choose to turn on the light.
Turning Faith Into Action
Now is the time to let your light shine. What is your gift to humanity? Are you an artist, a poet, a teacher? What can you do to walk your path; shine your light; and leave a spark so that others may shine too?
What inspires me to shine? How can I use this to be of service to others?
I am light and love!
Teach me your ways
and shine light upon my path.
Send me stars on a dark night,
And a lighthouse in stormy waters,
I embrace that lightning brightens gray clouds
Just as sunlight cracks the veil of night.
I accept light in any form
And pray for the healing love
That accompanies it.
Quote Inspired reflections
“Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.” ~Henri Nouwen
“Love one another and help others to rise to the higher levels, simply by pouring out love. Love is infectious and the greatest healing energy.” ~Sai Baba
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” ~Matthew 5:16