Somebody, Everybody, please turn on the light
Yesterday I awakened in a funk. Somewhere between a bad mood, repulsed and discouraged. I wasn’t alone. A dear friend made a similar remark on her Facebook. Whenever I wake up in a less than positive mood, I take a few minutes to dump the junk in my morning pages. Then after spending some time generating ideas and the writing process, I come out on the other side looking up. Yesterday not so much. Additionally, when I do finally get out and about, I enjoy catching up on the political news on my commute to where I’m going. That was not the case! Everywhere (radio, TV, social media, etc.) I turned was darkness, hatred, and condemnation.
It was if my spirit had soaked it all in and was drowning in darkness and dread. I had to find a way to turn the light back on. Find a way to encourage others to let their lights shine in the darkness. After all, we cannot find light by analyzing the darkness which is what the world seemed intent on doing.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that. – Martin Luther King Jr. tweet
Light pushes back the darkness
Likewise, where there is light, darkness cannot exist. We drive out the darkness by letting the light loose. Here are five ways you can let your light loose and let go of any darkness that is drowning your spirit in dread.
L is for Love
The first thing to remember is, our light shines best when we love our fellow humans. Each and every one of us has hopes, dreams, desires, makes mistakes, experiences success, and failure. Condemnation nor judgment changes anyone. We reap what we sow. Not to mention our greatest opportunity for growth is loving the ones that seem hardest to love. Only love grows us, only love changes, only love wins.
I is for Ignite the Good
The second thing we can do is choose to ignite the good. By and large, we all have a choice – with every dollar we spend, every tweet posted or message sent. We can ignite the good in the world or deepen the darkness. We can fight against the darkness protesting the evils of the world, or we can ignite the good by spending our time, money and effort with people and organizations that are spreading light doing good work in the world.
G is for Gratitude
Thirdly, regardless of the election results, we have a lot to be grateful for as residents of the United States. Gratitude is wisdom. Wisdom because it bring us to the present moment, it focuses our attention on what is beautiful, what is good, what is. It is wisdom because it brings us together and strengthens our relationship allowing us even to see the benefits of our disagreements.
H is for Helping Others
As a society, we have come under the curse of counter-dependence. Dr. Jonice Webb describes this as a deep discomfort with any form of reliance on others. We see asking for help as a weakness, but we can flip the script. We can open our awareness to the needs of those around us. Open the door for an older adult. Help the person in charge of the meeting at work distribute the handouts to the group. Very similar to gratitude, helping others takes us out of the fear and dread of the future and into the present moment.
T is for Time to Let Go of the Hate
Lastly, holding on to hate no matter how much you feel it’s justified or warranted does absolutely nothing to change the person you hate. However, hate and the anger that accompanies it does a lot to change you. Pent up hatred spews out in anger and puts our heart at risk, lowers our immune system and makes the fear/anxiety that is at the root of the hatred even worse. It’s time to let go of any hate we are holding onto.
Grab your journal; it’s your turn to grow
Take a few moments and reflect on where your spirit is at today.
- Have you allowed the darkness of our times to snuff out your light?
- Thinking about what is on your agenda this week how can you practice pushing back the darkness with the light.
- How can you be intentional about being present through gratitude and helping others?