Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Darkness and the Light

I remember as a young girl hearing "don't look directly at the sun, it will burn your eyes!" Practically, a good piece of advice I guess. Don't wanna scorch our retinas. But interesting how innately, we want put our faces to the light and just be there. Stare at it's magic, feel it's warmth. We want to embrace it and admire it, yet, we learn to be careful, as to not go blind.

Then there is the darkness. Completely opposite of the sparkly luminous light. Darkness, we learn as children, is where bad things happen. Darkness is cold and scary. We have got to keep our eyes wide open in the darkness, struggling to see, for our eyes to adjust, so we can be prepared for the danger that lies lurking in the corner.

As we grow, most of us learn not to be so afraid of the dark, but still, things feel different there.

Well, we are the world and the world is us. We have within us darkness and light. Each of us to varying degrees. Some more Jedi than dark side, some way more Vader. Some of us are aware, we can feel things shift within, when we lean more to one side than the other. We can even feel where you are in your energy. Some of us aren't so aware and just go through our days being taken for a ride, not knowing where we will end up. We all have the capability to be aware, and really to direct, which way we lean. But it takes a little work, a lot of change, and a bunch of acceptance, compassion and grace, for yourself and everyone else.

Although, the thought of becoming a being ablaze with pure clarion light, no darkness anywhere, just shining away, sounds like the goal, I don't think it is. Not yet anyway. We have too much to learn and to share while we are here. The darkness is a wonderful teacher if you let it be, in many different ways. Both the darkness within, and the darkness in others. Because darkness is really only the absence of light. It is not a power it's own, it's a void.

There are a multitude of stories, fables, folktales and even just short quotes on the virtues of darkness and light.

A few of my favorites (although I really have to narrow it down here :))

God did not create evil. Just as darkness is the absence of light, evil is the absence of God.
Albert Einstein
It is not how we live in the light that enlightens us, it is how we live in the dark.
Rune Lazuli
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
John 1:5
I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your being. Hafiz
It is during our darkest moments, that we must focus to see the light.

Light is lovely, it is where we desire to be, what we wish to see, what we need to share. It is the power, and yet, without the twilight, the light would not be as bright and beautiful. It not always easy, to let the murkiness be. We try to push it away. It's uncomfortable and scary. Instead of fearing the darkness, hold space for it. Let the void be there long enough to feel it. Let the anger be there long enough to move past it so you can offer true forgiveness. Let the doubt be there long enough for you to realize there is no need to doubt, that it is all in your mind anyway. That you are powerful beyond measure. Let the fear be there long enough to teach you, fear is an illusion. And then, after your old friend darkness has taught it's lesson, let it go. Move on, into the light where you truly belong... stronger, more open, filled with love and gratitude for the lessons received.

Sometimes there are those that get stuck in darkness, that can move through easily. They want to extinguish your light, or do what they can to at least dim it a bit. It hurts their eyes to see you shine so brilliantly. It makes them angry to know that you were brave enough to walk through the darkness so that you could come into your powerful light. And yet, without a doubt, one of the lessons you learned was to love them anyway. To shine relentlessly, without shame and without guilt, no matter how they try to make you feel. You don't need to try to get them out of where they are. You don't need to try to force their lessons. You don't even need to stick around to share their pain. Bless them. Send your love. Have an open heart. Give compassion and grace. Remember how hard it can be to be there, and gracefully float on.


Monday, June 6, 2016

Cutting Out the Labels

Ever since my oldest was a year old, I've been cutting labels out of his clothes. He's sensitive to the way things feel (physically, emotionally, spiritually) and labels bother him. Like mamma like son.

Labels bother me too, and not only the paper ones in my t-shirts. We live in a world that has labels sewn in everywhere you go. There are so many. There are even labels of labels. It's maddening.

I've been noticing the labels more and more, for a few reasons. The main reason being, my strong desire that my boys feel encouraged and supported in being who they are. I want them to feel allowed to shine their light bright without worrying about what label their light might get them.

Bad Boy - Wild Child - Hippie - Nerd - Jock - Girly Boy - Teacher's Pet - Class Clown - Rebel - Goody Goody - Sissy - Bully - Right Wing - Bleeding Heart - Genius - Dumb...

Republican - Democrat - Socialist - Homo -  Misfit - White - Black - Mixed - Stay at Home Mom - Working Mom - Freak - Fat - Emo - Slow - Jesus Freak - New Ager - Believer - Unbeliever - Drunk - Dork - Lazy - Cougar - Know it All

On and on and on. I'm certain you can add to the list. These labels aren't always meant in a negative way, but really, when you look at it, they ARE always negative.

We are limiting people. We are stifling them. We are judging them. We are making them doubt themselves, their gifts and abilities. We are pigeon holing them. We are caging them. We are telling them...this is who you are...this is what you stand for...this is what you are capable of...this is what is wrong with you...this is why you are different. You can't change. You can't be who you dream of being because you are THIS.

I've been making a real effort to stop myself in thought and especially in word, when I find myself labeling. I don't want to perpetuate those titles, those restraints. I want to encourage. I want to build up. I want to support. I want to heal.

I want you to spread your wings. I want you to feel like you can do anything. I want you to see the gifts you have been blessed with. The very gifts that have likely earned you a label or two. I ask you to grow those gifts, to be filled with joy and gratitude for those gifts. To be proud of the person that you are, all the special qualities that make you, you. Those things that you love about yourself, and the things that disappoint you about yourself. Every single one of those things is meant to teach you, meant to grow you into the amazing spectacular magical being that you are capable of being.

So no more labels. Let's be intentional in making a change, together <3