I believe that when you strip me down to the core of my being, there are light things and there are dark things. There are needs and there are wants. I need engagement, connection and to feel a sense of belonging. I need to be able to express how the world affects me, right or wrong, it is my own interpretation. Where the danger and the damage lie, is in the way other humans react and respond to my interpretation. This is where the world changes us. This is how we learn hurt, fear, rejection, and boundless shame. Is it avoidable? Not without massive culture shift. But there is always hope and it lies within, tucked up tight against the light, the dreams, the longing and the voice inside you that is straining to be freed.
When you were little, you heard things that changed you. If you were lucky, and I mean VERY lucky, the words molded you in a way that bound you stronger to your own foundation, working with your light. Shaping its intensity and radiance. If you were not so lucky, you heard words that dimmed your light, taking the surety and strength out of everything you said and did. These words cracked your foundation, crumbling it in a long trail behind you. Maybe the trail is so long that it looks like you could never trace it far back enough to get to the first piece. Your light waned, dimmed and cast shadows throughout you. I remember shadows being so terrifying as a child. They could have me believing in things that did not exist. Feeling terror for no reason. Believing in an untruth.
But I am a grown up now. I can more easily tell truth from lies, light from dark, good from evil. I am still the same child with the same basic needs but my defenses have grown with me whether I know it or not. The fear, rejection, and hurt will always surround me whirling like an invisible snowstorm. But the light inside us has heat. A warmth and a glow that can melt the most frigid of winters. We just can’t be afraid anymore. We need to believe that the light will guide us to the life that we have always longed for. We need to believe with everything that is within us. Our light is unique and beautiful and worthy. The world will know more color and beauty and joy just from witnessing our light.
So take those words that you heard as a child. If they were good, then nurture them, nudge them, and hold them towards your light to receive even more energy and love. If they were bad, gather them from every corner of your head where you can hear them, even the ones scrambling to desperately hide. Wrap them up in both hands. Squeeze them until they are tiny, forming a dark and heavy mass . Hold them over the edge of a cliff that knows no bottom and just… let them go.
Author’s addendum :February 3rd, 2016.
I revisited this post today after profound personal and professional experiences have forced me into reflection and self-exploration. I have become aware of what my ‘defences’ really looked like from the outside…throwing myself into my career, searching for validation in my work both from the satisfaction of helping others and furthering my profession. If I fed my ego, I would be nourished as well, right?
I have had two more years to witness how my own children have the potential of being so heavily influenced and changed forever by my words of judgement. I must be so much more careful with these beautiful, fragile, spirits. The worst thing I could do would be to dim their light. Because now I understand how hard it is to fight my way back through the dark to reach the light.