We cannot hold a torch to light another's path without brightening our own.
I think that a lot of people focus on the negative because it is easier. It is easier to cry over your woes, rather than finding a way to fix them. This is not to say that crying isn't natural and sometimes utterly necessary. It is.
But, people who wallow in the negative, get drawn deeper and deeper into the darkness. Sometimes to the point where the dismal darkness appears to be the light.
Does that make sense?
I find that even on my worst days... even on the days that I feel my own darkness creeping in, that I am a source of light for others. I can always see that there is a positive outcome, I can always foresee a positive path. Holding onto the negative limits growth... it prevents one from moving on...
There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.
It's kind of why I smile at strangers, or say excuse me.. or just be pleasant to people I hardly know. Example, in the grocery store... as you pass by someone... smile at them... Say 'good afternoon'... In a very small way, you are allowing your inner light to do two things:
1) Possibly give someone a little happiness... letting their light shine a little brighter.
2) Brightening your own light, by allowing it to shine out.
When you possess light within, you see it externally.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that when you feel happy.. it shows on you.
Being happy, and possessing inner light kind of go hand in hand... at least in my opinion.
If you allow your spirit to feel it... it will glow.. it will shine through you. I think you can see this on older people the best. A person that allows their light to shine... tries harder not to let the dark corrupt... They look younger, they look refreshed.. they look full of life. But, I know we have all seen the old, crotchety woman in the super market.. with the dry wrinkled skin.. the frown lines present all over... her skin a sallow and darkened.. sometimes even grayed...
I, honestly, believe that is what happens when you allow the dark to corrupt.
Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light.
~Norman B. Rice
This is a tricky one.. for me at least. I am a "helper" at heart... I feel that there is good in every person... As that may be true... Some people are just so consumed by the negative and by the darkness in their life... They will try to pull you down to them... so that, even for a short period of time... your light illuminates their darkness.
Being able to know your strengths, and your weaknesses.. being able to know you are capable of staying above the waves... this allows you to bring others out of their darkness. However, the only way I feel this works.. is if the person truly wants to be helped.. truly wants to be different. Someone who wants to be positive, and wants to push forward.
Even if you love someone, never allow them to keep you in their darkness...
Sadness, weakness, darkness, whatever you want to call it... is a contagion.
It seeps in, sometimes without you even noticing it...
Love can make you deny that it's happening.
If someone love's you... truly loves you... They will let you shine...
They will try to shine with you...
"It doesn't matter how long we may have been stuck in a sense of our limitations. If we go into a darkened room and turn on the light, it doesn't matter if the room has been dark for a day, a week, or ten thousand years - we turn on the light and it is illuminated. Once we control our capacity for love and happiness, the light has been turned on.
-- Sharon Salzberg
-- Sharon Salzberg
No matter how long the darkness is around you... no matter how long you've allowed it to consume you.. There is always the chance to rise above... always the chance to start anew.
There's always to chance to let yourself shine.