I will not allow
my life's light
to be determined
by the darkness around me.
~ Sojourner Truth
There are many experiences of darkness, inside and outside each of us, that can obscure our sense of our light, our freedom, our true self. You may have had a difficult or traumatic childhood. Your life may have been impacted by poverty, illness, abuse, sexism, racism, homophobia. Or you simply may not have been seen or acknowledged as you wanted or needed to be. Your light, your true self may not have been seen or encouraged and you may have felt diminished, not good enough or unworthy. Your true self consequently may not have had an opportunity to truly develop and shine its light as your life.
And there is the current political darkness in this country and in the world that can feel threatening and scary. This regressive political agenda threatens many hard-won freedoms and agencies that protect or try to protect people, animals, the environment, and is trying to intimidate, silence, ban and deport many of us.
How do we courageously continue to develop and be more of our authentic selves when faced with the inner fears and anxieties from our personal or collective history, and the external darkness of this administration? How do we continue to shine our light and be true to ourselves? Many people are asking these questions now; Sojourner Truth's quote from the days of slavery is equally relevant today as we face the dilemma of being who we truly are in the face of darkness which threatens to eclipse our light.
But just as any eclipse is only temporary and the moonlight and sunlight continue to shine, our internal light cannot be permanently eclipsed by internal or external darkness. We must continue to courageously be our light, facing the darkness and not allowing it to determine who we are and how we live our lives.
if you would like help in shining your light.
Hold fast to dreams,
for if dreams die, life is
a broken-winged bird
that cannot fly.
~ Langston Hughes
Dreams are many things including: the night visitations that we may or may not remember, and that are symbolic messages from our unconscious mind; the ideas and hopes of how we would like to live, whether or not we believe we can really achieve or be this; and the ideas and hopes we may have about what this country and the world could be - free of hunger, war, hate and violence of all kinds. John Lennon's iconic line comes to mind: "you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."
At times it can be extremely challenging to hold onto your consciously held dreams- the personal ones after disappointment or loss as well as your dreams for your community or the world in times of uncertainty, danger and war or threats of war. Yet these dreams provide guidance, inspiration and direction for the next step, for what action is called for to move toward bringing your dreams to fruition.
Similarly, dreams while sleeping are messages from your inner world, from your unconscious mind, providing insight and guidance in an even deeper way than your conscious dreams can. Dreams can be difficult to decipher at times, but if you can get into the feeling of the dream, and the personal meaning of the symbols, profound insight and guidance, as well as a deep understanding of your life in the moment, is provided to you!
Following your dreams, keeping them alive, living your dreams, is an essential part of a life well lived. What are you dreaming?
If you would like help keeping your dreams alive,
or understanding them, call me for a phone consultation!l
Peggy Handler, MFT, is a psychotherapist in San Francisco's Noe Valley