We are light bringers. It is our wont to shine and inspire. We don’t do it for recognition; we don’t do it for praise. In fact, the act of lightbringing is what fills our own cups and pacifies the passion in our own fluttery veins.
We bring light because we can, but also because we must. As a jeweler is called to the stone and the mandrel, we are drawn to the heart’s ability to recognize itself. We possess the deep knowledge that, at times, the heart’s adrift journey needs a compassionate chaperone.
We do not bring light because we exist in a world of ease. We do not bring light because it is all we have ever known. We bring light because light has rescued us from dark places. We bring light because we can testify to its necessity. We bring light because we are able, and we know when you are not.
We do it because light begets light.
When we ignite another’s wick from our own flame, it does not diminish our candle’s brightness. Indeed, we bask in the gentle warmth of more glow.
We recognize the draw of a brighter world.
So the crux, therefore, lies in the balance for the lightbringer: In knowing that being the flame for others connects us to purpose, we can diminish our own longing for connection and enlightenment.
In an effort to keep the days shining and inspired, we can feel shadowy when we sense the lack of a reflection.
We exist in a world of finely-honed empathy: the gloom or delight in a space can bombard us. And so can the emptiness.
We lightbringers need to keep our own lamps fed; our nourishment exists in the acknowledgment of who we are beyond our offerings. We can continue to dish out the soul food of clarity when we are graciously gifted with acceptance and visibility.
We know the tricks of the light.
We do not need to be praised; we just need to be seen.
Thankfully, our empathic hearts can guide us to those fellow bright stars who offer unencumbered acceptance. “My light is dim today,” we can say to them. “My candle falters.”
“I see you,” they will say.
I see you. I am grateful.
Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
Here in Idaho, we’ve made national news for a devastating reason. People who feel their “freedoms” are being threatened by the urging of our local officials to wear masks for everyone’s health and safety, and to spare the hospitals and healthcare workers who are stretched to their limits, have begun threatening and protesting at the homes of our county commissioner, Mayor, and others.
The active lack of kindness, and the decision to embrace vile tactics, hurts my mama heart and disheartens me as a lifelong Idahoan.
We could be thriving as a whole and heathy community were we just to recognize the importance of taking care of one another.
Wear your mask. Distance as you’re able. Pay attention to the reality that this pandemic is making people suffer unimaginable hurdles and losses (even with the “99% survivability rate.”)
If you have not experienced the fear and heartache that this virus has brought, be grateful. And know that it is still up to all of us to use our ability for compassion and reason. For the sake of humanity. 🙏🏽
I miss hugging people and meandering into public spaces I’d not considered before.
I’m a touchy feely space-taker-upper and sometimes the weight of distance is a hairy bear bearing down, down pillow in his paws, encouraging me to sink and to sleep or surrender.
But I. Don’t. Want. To. Any. More.
So this evening, I donned a ball gown and a sequined Winter hat with my best good cowgirl boots, to frolic absurdly with our goats and my family in the cold.
We shall make do; can you join me in your own way? There’s a feather on your shelf you can slide behind your ear; there’s a jumbly note you wrote down after a dream that needs some space on the wall.
There’s a sweater you couldn’t quite give away yet since you know that when you slide it on, you’ll feel a titch taller (and it has thumb holes, so.)
If this forced isolation has brought out our wiggles, we must take this moment (right now!) to address them, and shake out that silliness, toss off the itchy weight of not-knowingness since above all we’ve learned that this life is a mystery.
And despite all the fear that yammers, and the umbrella of uncertainly that wants to sink over our bones, we can learn from the the best detectives and the calmest yea-sayers who seem to have grasped that *whatevs* can suffice just fine, thank you very much.
My friend lost her mom to ALS last week. Last night we took a chilly walk along a nature path, and as we meandered she noticed a high tree flocked in so many birds. Passing underneath it she said, I know my mom will give me signs, and just then, all the birds burst from above and gave us a 15 minute murmuration, staying close over her, dancing.
A Murmeration for Amber
As they dip and glisten it’s the pulse of a heartbeat made by the flitting and gliding
of ecstatic black wings
who whorl in slick grace
with unfathomed choreography
We are here, they say in their cacophony, for you
and we could swoop you away with us forever, however...
your burdens are here now and are yours to fold into
But here, we know your light is what can unfurl you
as we feather your story to the watercolored sky
and that story is this:
You are safe, held, and seen.
You are a treasure and a boulder.
Your life, your message takes up space
and it fills the pockmarked places where hope has been hiding.
You are a wonder, your existence offers an abundance of calm to the wearied
So worry not, sweet bird
You can fly with us one day and O! how you will love your wings
But until then,
just keep looking
If you've never had the joy of witnessing a murmeration, check out this video on YouTube of a particularly spectacular one.
Do you ever wish you could go back in time and cup your little self gently around the cheeks, have her look into your wizened eyes?
Do you ever want to hug her, because only you know the type of embrace she needed but didn’t know how to ask for?
I often see posts asking, “What 3 words would you tell your younger self?”
My younger self would be *freaked out* to see older Me standing before her, and I know she’d not be keen to accept advice from some kind of know-it-all.
She just wants to feel seen, understood, right where she’s at.
I could tell her that longing has served her. She will one day be able to feel the shards and caresses of emotions from every corner of the room.
I would tell her to honor that sensitivity, to trust that desire for comfort and good.
I would ask her to trust her heart, and not believe anyone who hints that her concerns are too far-fetched.
I would tell her to go ahead and cry, and to continue to write it all down (but maybe to hide her words better; privacy is often precious for sowing lessons worth revisiting.)
I’d tell her that yeah, you do have gifts. Your silliness matters. It’s okay to be a goof. Being mortified has its place, and certainly doesn’t separate you from the pack (they’re just as awkward as you are.)
I’d understand her longing to rest, wholly assured in her place in a mad world.
If I only had three words to give her?
You. Are. Enough.
by Emily Nielsen
"I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition."
All posts are copyright ©Emily Nielsen