It’s all going by so fast this year, isn’t it? I guess with Thanksgiving so late, it seems like the whole world is in a mad rush – even more than usual! So many things crowd our minds: what gifts do I need to get for my kids’ teachers? What parties do we have when? Why do I need to see my relatives at dinner, but what would happen if I backed out? What if I get the wrong gift? I worked so hard all year – what if I don’t get any gifts, and I continue to feel so unappreciated?
And why does it have to be dark outside more than it’s light? I leave for work in the dark, come home in the dark!
It all feels like so much darkness!
My husband used to say that his least favorite day of the year was the first day of Summer, because “it all goes downhill from here.” The days start to get shorter, and we lose the light. You don’t see it much, of course, in July and early August when the sun doesn’t even begin to go down after 8:00 pm, but gradually, ever so slowly (and then all in a rush), it gets dark.
Human beings have a complicated relationship with darkness, but it’s fair to say we crave the light. Even when it’s bitterly cold and dark outside, we’re cheered by thoughts of cozying up to warm firelight, or the light of a lamp in the kitchen as we’re eating dinner. We’re innately drawn to – even if we’re suspicious of it at first – a joyful person who exudes a bright personality, and innately shun people who drag around like little Eeyores with dark clouds hanging over their heads.
We like the light, even if the light hurts us. In Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, he introduces the idea of adjusting to light once we’ve seen it and can no longer “unsee” it. Light is knowledge. We have “bright” ideas. We’ve come to realizations and “seen the light.”
You may be walking in darkness right now. If you are, I am so sorry. I’ve walked through periods of darkness in my life, and I’m sure I will again. We’re all human, and that’s what we do. Our lives are made up of the good and the bad – of the fortunate circumstances and the unfortunate ones. Maybe 2019 wasn’t your year. Or 2018, or all the way back to 1999, when the promise of a new millennium was what you needed to start fresh…and it didn’t deliver.
2020 may be your year! Or it might not. And that’s okay. It’s okay because there will be light.
It might not be as bright as you want. It may be a tiny little flicker of hope. But I promise you, it will be there. It may shine from the unlikeliest of places or it may come from you. But it will come. No matter how tiny that little spark is, the darkness cannot overcome it. Draw yourself closer to that light this upcoming year. It may be small. It may be tiny. But it will be the light. And the more you are drawn to it, the bigger it will be; and my hope for you this next year is that you kindle that light until it creates a fire in your heart that others can draw close to to warm themselves – and from there, truly spread love throughout the world.
An ancient Chinese proverb says “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” If you are able to let your light shine, the whole world will be better for it! And if you need yours lit, find that small light in your world and get to know it better. Then, no matter how dark it may feel in your life, you will not be overcome by it. And if you’re not overcome by the darkness, just imagine how wonderful it all could be.
Until next time, be well!
About the author: Christy Gualtieri is a freelance writer specializing in pop culture, religion, and motherhood. She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and two children. Christy also blogs at asinglehour.wordpress.com and tweets @agapeflower117. You can follow her here on eTalkTherapy for inspirational articles and different perspectives as they relate to good mental health.