In my day to day life, I aspire to shine my light. You know a person who is shining their light when you see them. They glow. They have an energy, a calm, and a confidence about them. They’re a person who is adding positivity and contributing good to the world, who knows it, but in a humble sort of way. That’s how I want to be. I even hung the below image on my vision board:
I took the photo above at an Imagine Dragons concert in 2014. That concert changed my life. (I could write an entire blog post on what the music of Imagine Dragons means to me, and I’m sure I will!) Just right of center, you see a figure standing on the edge of a stage, with what appears to be a beam of light emitting from him. That’s Dan Reynolds, the lead singer of the band. He had gone all the way down the catwalk, yards from the rest of the band, and stood there, alone and vulnerable, bearing his all through his music, and in doing so, shining his light and creating hope in his fans. This image is so powerful to me. I decided that night that that’s how I strive to be.
I was down on myself this year, because I felt that I wasn’t shining my light. I was going to be just like Dan! I fell upon my own mental health issues, and I wasn’t able to do the things I had intended to do this year. I was going to save the world. I had so many things I was going to do to combat the political climate and spread joy and love in the world. I was going to be an unstoppable freight train of good. But, I became focused inward on my own troubles, and I neglected the world around me.
But, I find myself reflecting on a message a friend sent me about a week ago:
hi! you have sent me some very sweet cards recently and they have been making me smile a lot. thank you.
This particular friend has had a rough year, full of difficult medical issues. Although I was going through my own rough time, I was able to make and send them two cards full of encouragement and love. And to this person, those cards made a difference.
So, in 2017 I learned that even when you are at your lowest point, you can still shine your light to someone else.
One night, in the winter of 2014, I was snowed in at a hotel an hour away from home. I had driven the long commute to my drive through increasingly treacherous blizzard conditions, and the drive had left me shaken and anxious. As I tried to relax in my hotel room, I removed the complimentary pen and paper from the nightstand drawer. I tore off several pieces, and on each, I wrote an inspirational quote or message. Then, I proceeded to hide them throughout the room, to be found by either the cleaning staff or future guests.
Anyone can do something small to better the life of someone else. Everyone has light, and everyone can shine it.
How can you shine your light?
Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world. – Desmond Tutu