Light

Light a Candle

Horrific. The only way to describe what happened in Las Vegas last night.

People will say there are no words.

Wrong.

There are lots of words.

Words of Anger. Of Sadness. Of Loss. Of Grief.

Words of magnitudes.

Yet, we feel helpless. So we say “there are no words.”

Wrong.

There are words of hope. And of comfort. And of light.

Of a saying “hi” to our neighbor, or “Hey, let’s go give blood.”

Or “Here, have a sandwich,” or make a call to a senator to say “How dare you stay silent on gun control again and again.”

These acts CAN NOT be silenced.

Yes. If you feel grief, take time, stay quiet, ponder with loved ones and protect yourself.

But, please, oh please, stop saying there are no words. Try this list if you’re stuck.

Take a moment.

Light a candle instead.

Whisper, sing, shout or wail a prayer.

For the mothers and daughters, sons, and brothers and fathers who are hurting and have lost ones most dear. For the co-workers who won’t have a project mate, the child now parentless, the countless kids across the country afraid to go to school, or the movies, or the football stadium.

Light a candle for all the conversations this incident should spark.

Light a candle for you. A person with words, who can use them for good.

Light a candle for hope and for healing.

Spread the light.

 

I do not want to take away from the heaviness of tragedies aftermath. Yet, I do believe dwelling in good brings peace. Share in the comments a few things you found to be beautiful in the slurry of mixed emotions following today.

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Take a Bite

Raise your hand if you’ve seen the latest meme with Helen Mirren. Maybe its not a meme.

It’s really just her face, with a quote. Ok that’s a meme. The Daily Beast pulled the image together.

She bravely tells the world that ‘2016 Has Been a Big Pile of Shit’.  You can watch her do so here.

For the most part, I agree with the sentiment. 2016 has been a challenging year for my family certainly, and for many humans.

We have faced loss and felt uncertain here in my house, just as thousands of individuals and families across the globe, as our new America frightens many.

But here’s what has been bothering me. When we focus on negativity, negativity wins.

When we feed into fear, we miss the good right in front of us.

Now I’m not saying we should ignore what’s happening in the world just to feel sparkly and bright. We shouldn’t push away our emotions, or fail to lean into the very real ‘ick’ that we experience when we address horrendous situations in our personal lives or on a global scale. This is not what I’m asking of you.

Rather, can we continue to take bites of the moon?

Bear with me – I will explain.

This week, our charming local movie theater was showing It’s a Wonderful Life. I bought tickets for my family because I thought it would be a  seasonal cheap thrill. I had never watched the movie all the way through before, and the messages portrayed resonate ever so much more in your late 20s than when you are nine.

When I was nine, all I cared about was how the gym floor would retract back to reveal a swimming pool. A SWIMMING POOL! How neat.

Now, significantly older than nine, the themes of sacrifice for family, and frustration that your plans aren’t unfolding as perfectly as you had thought they would just ring ever so true.

For those of you who’ve seen the film, you know the iconic scene where George offers Mary the moon. The women swoon, how delightful such an offer is.

moon

George: I’ll give you the moon, Mary.
Mary: I’ll take it. Then what?
George: Well, then you can swallow it, and it’ll all dissolve, see… and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair.

This is the kind of light and enthusiasm that we need. To embrace the good in this world, to take bites, to savor it, to let us radiate with moonbeams.

I love this metaphor. Maybe George Bailey wasn’t thinking so deeply, but his little interaction spoke to me. I want to be the type of person that keeps dreaming, and searching, and reaching for the moon.  I want to find the people who will help me lasso it, because I want this kind of light to beam within me.

It’s hard, my friends, when the world feels like shit. I get it. I really do. But if we focus on the shit, we miss out on the moon. And the very beams that we can choose to ingest.