Confucius said, "It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness."
Some might consider the quote's candle a metaphor for the word "hope." It could be that. It could also be trust in whatever we believe is larger than ourselves; a small action taken on our behalf as opposed to doing nothing; or a change of attitude, no matter how minor; or all of the above.
With all that goes on in life that requires or demands our attention, we might forget to nurture the three aspects we are: Body, mind, and spirit. It's pretty easy to look at others and notice if they appear in or out of balance. Obviously, it's more important that we turn our gaze to ourselves.
Darkness might be a metaphor for something we perceive as having a negative impact on some part of our life. I suggest it's possible that any perceived darkness is a call from our own spirit within us. If we're, indeed, spiritual beings in a physical world, spirit's best way to get our attention focused on it is going to be through the medium of our life experiences.
Life presents us with opportunities to learn and grow. Sometimes it blows out our candle, but I like to think it expects us to re-light it and show a bit of spirit (or quite a bit). Some, when suddenly thrust into darkness, do stand there and curse it or wail and bemoan their plight, and never address their aspects so they can shift the situation. When people appear stuck in one or more areas of their lives, it's usually more about a fear than anything else. Many of us fear believing in our magnificence. After all, there are so many in the world willing to tell us we aren't magnificent individuals or that magnificence looks a certain way. The problem is not that this is what often happens, but that we usually believe it. Perhaps our one small candle we are to light is this belief about ourselves.
Some stand quietly and tremble in darkness because they adhere to "The meek shall inherit the Earth." The dictionary defines meek as patient and mild, gentle and kind, too submissive, easily imposed on, spineless...and here's the most intriguing definition of all: Spiritless. Granted, I'm taking liberties here, but pause and think about this. What a contradiction in terminology and concept. It seems emphasis has been placed on the more limiting definitions rather than on evolving our spiritual selves so that we behave in our lives and towards each other in ways that are empathetic, nurturing, encouraging, courageous, and with Spirit.
What kind of service do we provide to ourselves and others if we are spiritless? Consider the types of people we are attracted to. Do we gravitate to those who seem filled with life or those who "take up little space?" Which type of person do we feel more enlivened by when in their company? How alive do we choose to feel?
When faced with darkness, whatever form that takes, I hope you find a way to ignite a spark (or a torch) of spirit within you to light your way. You may need a moment to experience the darkness, take a few deep breaths, and honor your emotions; but I also hope that at some point, you illuminate yourself and say Next!, and take the next step on your path.
About Joyce Shafer
Joyce Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach dedicated to helping people feel, be, and live their true inner power. She's author of "Don't Want to be Your Guru" and other books/ebooks, and publishes a free weekly online newsletter that offers empowering articles and free downloads. See all that's offered by Joyce and on her site at http://stateofappreciation.weebly.com
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