Illuminating the Light within the Darkness

It’s hard to see the light when you’re steeped in the darkness of your disappointments, regrets, losses, failures, fears and painful experiences. The darkness can creep up in unexpected ways, a hurt here, a slight there, and before you know it you’re trapped in that darkness. You can tell a dark memory because it feels bad, sad, hurtful, disappointing, regretful, dense and heavy.

The longer you stay in the darkness of these negative thoughts and memories, the darker it will get.

It’s not that these thoughts and memories are bad, in and of themselves; the problem is that the version of the event you stored in your memory is likely a misinterpretation of what really happened, and that taints all your beliefs, thoughts and actions.

Have you ever had a situation where you got angry at someone for doing something you thought they did, only to find out later that they didn’t do that? Initially you stored the memory in the dark side, but when you discovered the truth (the light), you rewrote your memory about that event and it stopped being part of the darkness. That is, of course, assuming you didn’t store a new dark memory beating yourself up for getting angry to begin with.

When you revisit dark memories your body can’t distinguish the original event from your remembrance of that event, and your body triggers the same hormonal response you had when the event first happened: Stress, for instance.

That happens because every event you experience, good and bad, is stored in your body muscles, tissues and organs, anchored by the beliefs you formed around each event about who did what to whom, why they did that, how it happened and what it all means about everyone involved directly and indirectly, especially you.

Prolonged exposure to the darkness leads to depression, over-indulging in food, exercise or drugs (legal and otherwise), smoking too much, feeling sad, unhappy, unloved, unwanted, rejected, and, at it’s worse, hating yourself, all of which perpetuates more darkness.

Additionally, when you focus primarily on the bad in your life, the stress-inducing thoughts – and the unhealthy eating habits that stress often leads to – wreak havoc on your health, especially your immune system. You become more susceptible to infectious diseases and your bodily functions weaken, opening the door for other health problems.

The longer you stay in the darkness, the darker it gets, and many choose suicide rather than continuing to live in the darkness.

Can you blame them? Who wants to live with such pain and hopelessness?

Finding answers or solutions or purpose while in the darkness is futile. You can’t see a way out of the darkness while engulfed in darkness.

But there’s a cure for the darkness: Light. Light is truth. Light is clarity, openness, willingness to see a different perspective and even willingness to change your perspective. Light illuminates all sides of any event and reveals misinterpretations, misguided intentions and actions and erroneous conclusions.

The real challenge, of course, is finding the light while immersed in darkness. But it can be done. I remember a call I got from a very depressed woman who could only talk about what was wrong with her life. As I became desperate to help her find something good in her life, I finally said, “What about hearing the sound of a child’s laughter?”

In an instant her energy changed, and she started to talk about her grandchildren.

When I pointed out how her energy had changed when she focused on thoughts that brought her joy and love – the lightness – she got it, at least in that moment. The seed was planted.

Another quick way to change a dark thought into a light thought is to directly ask the person involved why they did what they did and what their intention was. Chances are your version is skewed a bit, enough to place doubt about whether or not you really were being slighted. Clearing the air instantly changes the energy from dark to light.

We all have good and bad memories – light and dark memories – and whether we live in stress or joy is determined by which memories we spend the most time revisiting.

The solution to convert dark thoughts to light thoughts is to think about and focus on the people and things that enlighten you – people you love and who openly love you, things you’ve accomplished, kind things you’ve done and have been done for you, birds singing, children laughing, snuggling with your pet or other loved ones.

You know what I’m talking about, the stuff that kisses your heart with joy and love.

As with dark thoughts, when you revisit light, happy, loving memories, your body cannot distinguish the original event from your remembrance of that event and will trigger the same hormonal response you had when the event first happened: Bliss, joy, happiness, acceptance, comfort, love.

An additional benefit of focusing on the good in your life is that when you are feeling good, your body is functioning at its best.

When we live in lightness, we are more loving, compassionate, creative, collaborative, generous, kind and abundant in all ways.

Light your own path and pass it on.

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