Let your Light Shine
It’s the middle of the night. Five women sleeping peacefully, on a Hawaiian retreat, in a pitch black shared room – and what looks like a flashing cursing Christmas Tree stumbling around, lighting up the darkness, freaking every one out… that would be me!
The reason for the stumbling disturbance was that in the middle of the night when looking for the toilet in the dark, I tend to execute the subconscious GPS coordinates from my usual bedroom to the porcelain bowl but I had now alarmingly found that this was where someone else’s sleeping head was located and I was totally disorientated.
The reason for the ‘flashing’ was more complicated. Annoyingly I had bronchitis, annoying for me on a continuous basis but annoying for anyone else who had to sleep next to spasms of coughing throughout the night. Luckily there were healers aplenty on hand, especially the amazing ‘grandmothers’ and often I would be woken in terror to find someone leaning over me rubbing some medicinal herb from Druid mythology onto me whilst chanting a prayer which translated as “seriously – go to sleep” or spooning some vile mysterious liquid into my mouth or any one else’s mouth that was open in the hope that everyone may get some sleep.
This flashing apparatus was now my latest healing modality, an ionizer which was hung round my neck like an old fashioned hearing aid and which would emit some pure air to promote restful breathing. It was great – apart from one aspect. When working properly it would flash to let you know something, what, I don’t know, maybe that you were still alive, maybe the battery was dying but there it was, like an accident vehicle, lighting up the room intermittently.
To take advantage of this on my toilet journey, I tried to use the flash to see where I was going, my new ‘guiding star’ as it were, but apart from now waking my brain up as I was dazzled in bursts of light, I was worried that I may kick-start epilepsy with the flashing. I was also concerned about waking everyone up so tried in vain to cover the light, only succeeding in creating a ghostly shining hand moving through the room like some poltergeist movie scene.
Eventually I got back to bed and thought again about sleep only to find that with a hot night and only a covering sheet the damn thing was now glowing through the sheet. In the middle of the night all I could think about was resisting the urge to croak ” ET phone home” as I shone from the heart. I then spent another hour wondering how best to find a sleeping position that would dim the light, eliminate the coughing, breathe my pure air and bizarrely how to stop the Sunday school song ” this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine” from ear worming around my brain.
We do have a few problems letting our ‘ little light’ shine in our lives.
Acknowledging that we do have a unique and much needed light that shines from the heart and is appreciated by others who don’t have a metaphorical ionizer strapped to their chest is often an issue. I meet so many beautiful people who just can’t see or recognize their particular light or the impact their light has on others. So many people have ‘lit me up’ just through their words, their hugs, their laughter or quiet wisdom and still they are saying “I’m nothing special”. At times our own light goes out and needs to be rekindled by a spark from another person. On many occasions a stranger has passed through my life and illuminated the darkness, or just added a warm glow to my day when I can’t see where I’m going and the dusk has fallen in an area of my life.
After acknowledging that we do have our own light we have to also beware of comparing our light against others – has someone else got a brighter light, a more useful light? They may seem to be the lighthouse and we are only the cell phone torch. Self esteem and confidence is needed to confront fears about shining – the rejection, hostility, jealousy, the not good enough, not bright enough thoughts, being seen as arrogant or above others – which needs to be balanced with the awareness that we need only shine with what we’ve been given. We don’t need to over analyze our light or measure our wattage, just shine from the heart knowing that we have our own unique light and way of shining that is perfect as it is.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually who are you not to be?” Marianne Williamson
Often to fit in, be accepted or cope with normality, we dim our light, we cover it and then by putting a sheet over it we end up with a distorted ghostly glow of something that is meant to purely shine. We apologize for our light, worry about it disturbing others, we down-play ourselves, or take our own needs off the agenda, we can’t find time to do the things that ignite our passion and charge our batteries, that connect us with the source of our light and by spending our time on things that drain us, or don’t inspire us, we have so much more work to do to get the generator going to emit our light again.
“You’re playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shining so that other people won’t feel insecure around you- we are all meant to shine…” Marianne Williamson
We also give our power and our light energy to other people who don’t always appreciate us for who we are and why our light is necessary, or we disguise our light to look like someone else’s or turn down the brightness dial because of the risk of losing a relationship. Not everyone wants us to shine brightly, it shows up the dirt –
“Don’t let someone dim your light simply because it’s shining in their eyes”
As I write this I’m in a building that has energy saving light sensors that means that unless I keep moving, the light goes out. It can be a bit annoying (especially on the toilet) but it keeps me on my toes – literally. We don’t shine as brightly when we are in a comfort zone, we get comfortable with a muted bedside lamp and every now and then in life we have to ‘rise and shine’, take action, get moving and head off into the darkness.
“Don’t sit and wait for the light to appear at the end of the tunnel, stride down there and light the damn thing yourself”
And then there are the times where there doesn’t seem to be any light, our own or from others, we can’t generate our spark and the world seems to be a bit heavy. Sometimes we shine a light and there’s no answering glow or sign of the dawn. We can’t all shine at the same time and sometimes it is not the right time for illumination.
We can shine and sparkle a lot easier when the sun is out, when we are reflected by the light of other like- minded people and we grieve when the sun is gone but often we may have to look further up and be guided instead by starlight, the more subtle, diffused hues which requires more effort and mindfulness to see. Starlight energy pierces the darkness like diamonds where we glow with an inner radiance rather than shining with the searing light and extrovert warmth of the Sun.
“Don’t cry when the sun is gone because the tears won’t let you see the stars”
If you’re in the darkness at the moment, keep the inner fire glowing until it’s time to shine externally again and look for others who have light to spare and share and can help guide your way. Sometimes we have to be a ‘glow stick’, we have to break before we shine! If you’re feeling the brightness, keep shining beautiful ones. The world needs your light.
And for all my weird and wobbly light friends out there –
“Make your weird light shine bright so that the other weirdos know where to find you!”