I was feeling pretty blue this fall. First the time change, then disappointing election results, then turning 40 (and feeling decidedly uninspired about celebrating), followed by losing the business of a long-term client.... it all added up to a whole lot of sadness. Even though I'm typically pretty excited about the holidays, it was all I could do to not go to a really dark place. I wasn't sure how I would make it past the Inauguration and my inevitable winter blues.
My perspective changed in an instant, when a friend told me about a dream she had in which a famous deceased musician (wild, I know, but stay with me please!) told her that it was the job of people here to not just shine a light, but to BE a light in the darkness. In the dream, he specifically mentioned me by name as someone whose job it is to be the light. And that made total sense to me because I have a history of being someone who focuses on what's working instead of on what's not. I had just lost my way.
In the weeks that followed, every time I was feeling sad, I just kept repeating to myself, "Be the light. Be the light. Be the light." And sure enough, I started feeling lighter and brighter, which gave me the energy to bring hope and optimism to pessimistic conversations. The realities hadn't changed, but my perspectives on them had. I decided to list "Be the light" as one of my personal commandments. When I feel myself start to spiral downward or dive into a negative conversation, I just repeat those three words that have made all the difference: "Be the light."
G. K. Chesterton is quoted as saying, "It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.” You can quote me as saying, "It's worth the extra effort it takes to be light." Are there situations where YOU can be the light?