A blonde haired boy no older than 4 years-old drags his red helping chair across the kitchen next to the light switch. He flips the light on, then off, then on and off again. The kitchen goes from light to dark, illumination to shadows.
A mother is standing across the kitchen announcing to him what he is doing. A person can bring light into the world or they can cover the world with a draining darkness. It is their free will choice as to what they dedicate their life to doing. But this one choice determines a path they will walk and how they will affect others, until they make the decision to veer off the path. Thereby, choosing another way to live.
My own heart seeks light. My soul thrives off the light and radiating warmth of love. Give love freely. Don’t expect it in return because some people weren’t taught how to love. I lay no blame on those folks. We are the inherited making of what we were raised in. The ways we were taught as children and the ways we’ve learned to survive. Even with the past, the future is our own making because we are given choices.
I’ve written extensively about my own childhood. I never set out with the intention to expose my family’s secrets. I made the decision long before my child entered the world to raise him differently than I was raised. I remember lying in the darkness and sobbing from pain. Feeling utterly alone in hurt. Hiding hurt because I didn’t think anyone would understand or help me. Sometimes, I believed I deserved it. There are days I still have to remind myself I don’t deserve to be hurt. Pain isn’t love. Because someone seeks to control a less dominant engineered human, well that doesn’t add up to love either.
Darkness. The solitary pitch black madness I have sought and hid under.
Light. A humming bright stream of peace-filled happiness conquering the dark.
Contrasted in a juxtaposed position, these two simple concepts can either swallow a soul or they can cause a person to thrive. The darkness can create chaos, there is no light to illuminate a way. In darkness, people fumble to find their steadfast ground to stand on. They claw at what they can’t see in front of them. They tear down others hoping to gain a sturdier foothold in a place they can’t see. They rip open raised scars on their own body, because these are the things they can feel. A raised piece of flesh feels like something worth grabbing. Nails will tear their way into old wounds. Making new and fresh wounds appear. Each time, this place feels several things: pain, confusion, uncertainty and despair.
Light switch on, baby.
If we could see the people in front of us, would we choose to pull them down? If we could see the scars we’ve healed, would we choose to rip them open again? If we could see a path, no matter how overgrown and covered in dripping autumn leaves, would we stand on it and walk? Would we help others find the path and walk beside us? In choosing to walk together in the light, we arrive together safely. We arrive as a group. There will always be more strength in numbers than there ever will be fighting alone.
I’ve had to fight for the better part of my life. The words you’ve read, not just today but all them which I’ve written, has caused a person I love dearly to hate my gift. He’s belittled me and became jealous of attention I never sought. I never wanted to be read. I’ve hid in the quiet early morning darkness and written words no one will ever read. I’ve sat in chilling moments hunkered alone with only my words and thoughts as my single solitary comfort. I’ve felt ashamed because I could write, because I did write in secret.
Weird. Freak. Outcast. Misfit.
I was given a challenge. You’re not a real writer. You don’t publish.
How those words stung my core. But they also did something else to my life. They pushed me into the light. The white screen sits behind what I am typing right now. I will hit one button. I will use my voice. I will use the words that once held chains around me and caused me insecurities. Because today those words shine light on the person I am. And the person I always was.
Through these words I have found a beautiful group of people to walk beside me. These people do not tear me down. They lift me and help me when I stumble on the path we are walking on together. They provide encouragement and love and kindness. When I go to heal my hurt, these people help bandage the wound. They provide all these things with only a few words. Sparse little rays of light that they choose to shine into the world. I would have never met these people if I didn’t step out of my dark hiding spot and into the light.
Light on. Light off. Illumination. Darkness.
We are given a choice each and everyday as to what we choose to bring into this world.