Have you ever noticed that if you try to block the Sun with your hands that your hands glow?
We’re transparent. Kind of.
The stuff that we’re made up of is designed to actually let the light through, but we try to solidify ourselves to the point of complete inflexibility.
Why do we do this? Why do we try to block out the light?
Thursday morning was spent in total darkness for me. I didn’t get more than three hours of sleep and it definitely helped to set me up for failure. I felt like my entire body was marinating in anxiety over a to-do list that continued to grow. Nearly ever interaction I had with the people around me resulted in twinges of abandonment. It happens sometimes; we feel feelings that just don’t really make sense to us in the moment. We walk around trying to hide that parts of our hearts are bruised, and tender. We carry shame for not being callous enough not to feel our discomfort. I know I definitely do. It’s inconvenient to feel sometimes.
It happened that I just wasn’t feeling so great, so I did something I so seldom do: I left where I was (where I thought I needed to be) and went home to take care of myself. What happened next surprised even me.
At a restaurant, I ordered my meal with friends, and the server made a mistake and gave me an extra appetizer – something I really enjoyed. Earlier, I was asked if I wanted this appetizer and I had declined because I was trying to stay within my budget. And now here it was!
A business meeting went better than I had expected – I was so worried that I wasn’t measuring up but as it turned out, I was further ahead of where I needed to be. Hearing the feedback from someone else gave me a great sense of comfort and relief.
Later that evening, at Happy Hour with a good friend, I ordered some food and again was given more than I had anticipated of something very delicious. And then, my friend made a kind, and unexpected gesture to pay for our meal.
While walking to the movie theater after dinner, the tickets for a special screening of a documentary my friend and I were going to watch was no longer available to be purchased from the theater; I’d have to buy them online at a different website now. I was racing through my phone trying to purchase the ticket in time for the movie to start. I had finally made it to the website when a stranger approached me and asked me if I needed a ticket. Someone in their party wasn’t going to make it to the theatre so they didn’t want the ticket to go to waste. The ticket was mine, and I paid for it with a hug. I just hugged a total stranger! And… she hugged me back!
Dramatically, the day had changed. I was filled with a feeling of gratitude for the way Thursday had taken my hand and walked me back into the light. That’s when I remembered that I’m not solid. I’m not callous. I just hadn’t been paying attention to all the ways that this light was in me.
I was waiting for the Sun to shine on me, forgetting that I had light inside that I could shine out. Letting yourself be seen means that people can find you, and they can lead you out of shadows if you don’t want to be there.
What shines on you also shines through you. And like the stickers I used to have on my ceiling when I was a kid, when you allow the light to find you, if it ever gets dark again, you’ll glow.