“There are darknesses in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights.” ~Bram Stoker
There is a wonderfully enchanting and beautiful neighborhood in a historic area of Pasadena that my husband Michael and I absolutely love to walk in when we're in need of inspiration.
It is only about a ten minute drive from our home, and we find ourselves frequently visiting the neighborhood, drinking in the peace and tranquility of the tree-lined streets as well as the charm of the lovely estate-style homes, many of which have been standing for over one hundred years.
When we take one of our beloved walks there in the evening time, we always find ourselves feeling so very uplifted by the little glimpses we catch here and there of warm light emanating from a lamp that stands on some small end table near an unobscured window.
And often it is a very beautiful lamp, perhaps a Tiffany-style lamp, one that is ornately crafted with stained, amber-colored glass which yields a warm, golden light that gives one an impression that they've stepped into a fairy realm.
I cannot tell you how special it is for us to see a little light like that on our walk, as there is something so truly hopeful about it, something so warm and inviting. That soft light in the darkness of the evening always leaves us feeling as if the possibilities in life are endless and abundant, that tomorrow just may be better than today was, and that magic does indeed exist.
What a blessing that is to our spirits, what a salve...
Reflecting upon that light, I cannot help but feel that whatever amount of joy, love, and optimism each one of us has available within us to share is the same kind of light, containing within it the same kind of potential to uplift, warm, heal, and leave the world around us a bit brighter.
In those moments when it is time for the darkness to be present, a time for "night”, the light is needed, however soft and subtle, to illuminate what surrounds us lest we forget what we have available.
It is this potential light within us that can radiate outward and make the more challenging moments we all find ourselves stumbling into from time to time more bearable, keeping us moving forward.
And while being the light when light is what's needed can be a difficult thing to do when one is already struggling to find meaning, it is truly one of the most hopeful things one can do, as this uplifts and warms not only oneself, but also others... and divinity can be found in that.
To be the light when light is what is needed is to be a force for good, a source of encouragement, and a road sign pointing to a better way.
It means bolstering every fiber of ones being that cherishes love, that believes in good, believes in something better, believes in tomorrow, and then bringing it to the surface so that it can shine for all to see. With that comes the privilege to touch and to stir, and to share in the discovery of betterment.
Of course, all of this is a tall order... it is, however, a worthy endeavor.
If each of us could see ourselves as a brilliantly ornate lamp made of warm, amber-colored glass that illuminates the darkness, creates some beauty, and is a reminder that all things are possible, then we would perhaps be well on our way to truly understanding the meaning of the “golden rule”.
It is being what you yourself need.
This is the ultimate form of compassion, not only for oneself but also for others, and the manifestation of a desire to hold tightly to what is good so that not only oneself but others can experience something better in life, some light.
Taste what's good and pass it on.