On Being a Light in the Darkness, Step 2

Based on the December 21st Create Your Magical Life podcast, I’m (slowly) writing a series of posts on how to strengthen, hold on to and shine your light when it seems like the world around you is falling into darkness.

Step 2: Be the Light

When you find the places where you feel the most pain, you’ve found the places you can make the most difference.

There are as many ways to be the light as there are people on this planet. You can love your friends and family as best you can. You can smile at strangers and hold doors open. You can write letters and sign petitions and make phone calls for the candidate or the issue you believe in most. You can sign up to give $10 a month to the charity or advocacy group of your choice. You can pick up litter when you see it on the street. You can make 3oo sandwiches or pack purses full of hotel toiletries and sanitary pads and hand them out to the homeless. You can mentor a child, foster an animal, start a sanctuary, teach someone a skill, sing in retirement homes or simply hold someone’s hand and listen.

My biggest pain points are around children and animals. Stories about abuse are like being pierced with white hot rods. I still cry when I think about a story I read about the mass killing of sled dogs after the Vancouver Olympics. I give money when and where I can. We sponsor a child through Save the Children.We regularly pick up trash on our beach and we do our best to live in environmentally healthy ways. I do my best to walk through the world as kindness and compassion embodied. Sometimes I do this beautifully and at others I’m tired and somebody pushes my buttons.

I’m also learning to be a better ally to people of color and to the LGBTQ community, in more concrete ways. I’m deepening my understanding of my own privilege and working to uncover my hidden biases. It’s uncomfortable and it feels so important. In these places I’m dependent on the light of others to guide my way.

I can’t do it all. Neither can you. But if each of us does what we’re most called to, it adds up and makes a difference. You might contribute in a really big way (like Natasha Wozniak rebuilding villages in Nepal or Sonya Passi at FreeFrom.org, who is working to change the legal system for survivors of domestic violence), or you might do something that seems small (like this vet or this hair stylist). Both are vital to our collective well being.

And of course we can all reflect the light of others, which is my goal with the podcast, with the stories I share on Facebook, with the links above. We can let people know when they’re glowing, when we love and appreciate them, when we see their light.

How do you want to be – or reflect – the light today? 

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