“Shadow of Light”
Shadow of Light
Deep in the Self the Light persists.
We are but a Shadow of the Light that shines within. With all the troubles that inevitably come our way, the question remains, will we choose to shine again today?
Giving all we can, though it never seems to be enough, we continue. There exists so much pain, so many struggles; paranoia and fear, illness, loneliness, loss and so little love. We watch as a friend succumbs to the depths of depression and wonder if he will be with us another day. In sadness we witness the deterioration of a fine mind. A once vibrant, talented, intelligent woman falls into an abyss called dementia. The father who celebrated life with integrity and enthusiasm that is rarely seen, with age is robbed of the ability to do the things that once filled his days.
Unjustified resentment and anger is often thrown our way. The question remains, will we choose to absorb it again today?
We are advised to move on… to spend time only with those who are a positive influence. After all, how else will we grow to the heights of all we can be?
Abort the imperfect fetus, desert the depressed friend, move away from the aging parents and steer clear of the difficult people that are a part our world. Gather with only those that hold the same political and religious beliefs, so as to avoid the possibility of confrontation. Ignore the ignorant and poor for they are only good for cleaning houses and sweeping streets. After all, we say, it is because of the choices they alone have made. Travel extensively in retirement though your children and grandchildren value your time. Keep one’s heart closed to those that threaten an idea that you hold, of who you are.
Yet it is in the shadows of our lives that we find the lessons. It is in our darkest days, we learn to appreciate the light. It is through opening our minds to others that we learn and grow. How many times has the smile and the innocence of the mentally challenged brought you joy? Do the aged, disabled and ill not remind you of how very fortunate you are? What of the challenge to bring light into the world of an angry, depressed or difficult friend, to spend time with the lonely and elderly, to help a child in need? Do you not find these small acts fulfilling? Have not the ignorant and poor have something to teach even you?
Though the relative shuns you, the gifts that are uniquely theirs, still exists, no? Is it not simply a decision, as difficult as it may sometimes be, to continue to focus on their positive qualities?
It is so easy to avoid them all, the depressed, the negative, the mentally ill, the poor, the angry, the thoughtless and rude, the anxious and stressed out, the jealous, the liars, the fakes and fools. Yet that is what so many people, who have the time, choose to do. As important as it is to care for oneself, to recharge in whatever way may work, is it not also our moral duty to be there for those in need? Perhaps there are parties you may miss, or sporting events, or travel. Yet it is the challenges we face, the giving to those in need, that brings out the best in each one of us.
In connecting with the Divine we will find our strength to carry on. Perhaps it is through the practice of meditation and the practice of Presence. By living moment to moment, anxiety disappears, as all the sorrows of yesterday and anxiety over tomorrow do not exist in the Now. There is prayer. There is silence. One can hear the Eternal only when one’s mind is still. Perhaps one may benefit from spiritual readings, or attending a place of worship. One may have a need to spend time by the sea, in the forest, or on a mountaintop. There are many ways to connect with the Divine and it is there we will find an inner light and strength.
The Light of the Divine, ever present within our depths, waits patiently for us to surrender, to let go and to trust, that we may become instruments of peace.
We are but a Shadow of the Light that shines within.
With all the troubles that inevitably come our way, the question remains,
Will we choose to shine again today?