When I was traveling this past summer, my boyfriend Alex wanted to read in the evening and asked my grandparents if there was a light outside on their porch. They replied a quick “Yes”, but I was sitting across the table churning away in my mind because of the depth that question held for me.
Looking back, I find it funny how this simple question became a complex psychological question. To me, this question was not about light for reading, but actually an individual’s longing for something outside of themselves. I’ve found that we spend most of our lives inside – meaning that we are very internal people. Our thoughts are inside us. We perceive, analyze, interpret, and imagine; all of these actions are tasks done internally. We become so comfortable staying inside, and staying in our habits, that to go outside of those habits and routines is quite scary.
Well, is there light outside?
When I first heard this question, I heard, “Yes, there will always be light for one who is looking”. However, I started to ponder it some more and realized that this “light” I was looking for was a light other than my own. I wanted someone to light it before I went outside to make sure I could see. I realized I was relying on another’s light to liberate me from my own darkness and I was not okay with this dependence. It made me ask myself:
Why am I relying on the light of others to light my own path?
My answer was fear. I was scared of stepping onto the porch with no lights. What was truly going on was that the part of me that wants to please and be accepted was speaking out and asking “Is there a place outside for me? Will my light be accepted there?”.
Funnily enough, I realized that I too have light, and that the minute I stepped outside my light would diminish the darkness. So my final answer as to whether or not there is light outside is “Yes, there will be”. It may not be lit brightly when you take the first step, but once that step is taken, your own presence will liberate you from darkness.
Yes, there is a light outside; because we possess a light that no darkness can ever get rid of. Your light will guide you, teach you and lead you down your OWN path. Furthermore, when we become comfortable being with and holding our light, we allow for others to become comfortable being with and holding their own light.
In studying my own light, I found that in my moments of inspiration, love, joy, and contentment I was most connected to that light. But what about the moments when I am not connected to my light? In the moments when I am not connected to my inner light, I found that my inner critic has taken the reins of my life. I let a negative part of myself run my life and take control of my perceptions and perspectives. So I asked myself, “How can I truly shine if I am listening to criticism? If I am being controlled by negativity, how can I feel safe to live from my most vulnerable place?”
The honest answer is you cannot – or at least I am not able to. My inner critic is the only part of me that has the power to diminish my light. And the nice thing about inner critics is that I have the power to tell them to be quiet. Overall, I find that living from one’s inner light is a continuous journey. I will never be finished, because there is always room for growth. There is always room for me to develop my light and transform it into something greater than myself.