Thursday, January 7, 2010

Light in the darkness

There is
permanently implanted within you

a light that longs for its nature
and yearns to shine.

You can always choose
to let this light
cut through the darkness.

-- Notes from the Song of Life

Yesterday we received some disappointing news -- not totally unexpected, but disappointing nonetheless. And I was pleased with my initial reaction: if this is not meant to be, then it's not meant to be.

But I was driving into town to get food for dinner when the call came, and as I pulled into the parking lot of our local grocery store, I felt a wave of deep sadness wash over me. Ah, I thought; good to know: you're not quite as comfortable with this as you thought you were.

So I allowed myself to feel the sadness, did my best not to turn it into a wagon full of past regrets and future anxieties, and was careful -- when identifying the feeling to those who cared -- to just identify the feeling, not to wallow. But I was curious to see what would be left this morning: was this way of handling things going to work for me?

Looking at this image, and the quote that arose from today's reading, I'm thinking things are okay, I'm holding steady. I'm not quite out of the woods yet, I'm still a little blocked, but there's obviously plenty of room to maneuver around the block, and there's a sense that, even though I can't quite see what's next, and even though there's a lot of darkness ahead, there is also light, and the promise of safety on the path ahead.

I remember reading not too long ago -- I think it was in Richard Rohr -- that fear is often a reluctance to get excited about something. So lately, when my fearful daughter starts verbalizing her worries, I try to re-channel her thinking by asking "What are you afraid to get excited about?" And so today, before my sadness turns into fear, I'll ask myself the same question: What are you afraid to get excited about?

The answer, I suspect, will always be the same: the possibilities the future holds. So instead of worrying, I've decided to start dreaming. If change is ahead, I can set an intention for that change, and do my best to see it as an opportunity to find new ways to serve. And now I get to imagine what that might look like.

It's all good: there IS a light, and it WILL cut through the darkness.


altar ego said...

I need to make a confession. It's so hard to come here and read your posts because they always invite the desire the have a conversation with you about what you've written. Today is no different. But comments are not the place for a conversation, so I'm not sure how to say, "Amen, sister!" with the kind of meaning I want it to carry. Let me just say this. I don't think I know how to dream. Not in the way that takes me down the path that leads to the realization of dreams. Am I afraid? Of what? Passion? Excitement? I don't think that's it. But I don't know, and as a consequence I don't dream.

On the other hand, I'm pretty darn good at seeking light in the darkness. Perhaps I ought to be content with that.

Maureen said...

This is such a thoughtful post, and I like how you reframe worrying into dreaming. I think I need to think on that same question and get to the same place.

Diane Walker said...

I LOVE email -- and am happy to converse in it: just send a note to and I will joyfully respond.

I agree -- conversing in comments is hard, because you never know if the person will come back to see how you've responded. Perhaps if I only posted once a week it would be easier...

and now I'm wondering what makes it possible to dream...

painterofblue said...

Thank you, I really needed to read this right now. Now on to dreaming...

Louise Gallagher said...

ha -- cyberspace once again intervened and my 'oh so brilliant' :) comment was lost.

HOwever -- great question! I love it.

I have long known that my fear of dreaming, my fear of setting goals was founded in my childhood when I felt ridiculed for my dreaming, my dreams, my eyes of wonder. Great question Diane. Great post.

Kimberly Mason said...

Oooo! Oooo! I LOVE that (quite possibly) Richard Rohr thing! Makes TOTAL sense to me! (NOW, that is *g*)

No time to talk now, time to blog, this was the missing piece to my puzzle. Thanks again for clearing the path!!