These are challenging times.
Although it seems we are coming to the end (fingers firmly crossed here) of our marathon endemic journey, it also seems we are arriving here more divided as a society than we have ever been. People are on edge and what may have been calm conversations a couple of years ago, now descend into strife-filled exchanges that leave everyone feeling worse.
Often times during the loneliest, saddest days of this pandemic, I’ve thought about anyone who lived through the World Wars. Or people who currently live in ongoing strife or refugee camps; Ukraine, South Sudan, Jordan, take your pick. The list is far too long.
What have people done over years, even decades of struggle? How have they dragged themselves through? By comparison what we have been through, although horrible, pales in comparison. I do not in any way want to minimize the loss experienced over the past two years. I know there are millions of families struggling with the loss of loved ones, of income, of health. The scars left by this pandemic are deep.
But we have not had to live in fear of violence. There have been no bombs. And aside from a few weeks of supply chain interruptions, our food supply has remained strong. We have not had to ration food or gasoline or anything else that was widely rationed during WWII. So how do people do it? How do they muster through?
When you can’t see the light, be the light.
The only thing that makes sense to me, is to be the light. In the deepest of dark times, when you can’t see the light, be the light.
It has been written about for ages, this is not a new notion and one might suggest I’m just echoing a great idea already shared repeatedly with the world. But today (and maybe it’s just me being in some weird funk), it seems like the only way.
I’m not going to pretend that being the light is easy. When everyone around you is troubled, sad, angry, frustrated, I think it’s a far easier thing to just give into the inclination to sit in that darkness too. But to challenge that, smile when there are none, emanate peace where there is only angst, it’s a gift not just within you but to those around you. And if you can recognize the light in others, when they perhaps can’t, well then, you’ve dropped a pebble into a sea. Watch the ripples spread.
Maybe I’ve lost it… Or maybe the sun rising and lighting up the hills in front of me helped me find ‘it’. I’m not sure. But for today, I’m going to focus on the light and try to sit in that space.
There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.Edith Wharton