Matthew started the week elated at having his son back but also a bit light-headed and ungrounded. This was the result of sitting for hours in a tin can on wheels and smooshing a weekend into watching the white lines on tar roads flip by sandwiched between the yellow fields of grass or rocky plains of karoo.
I started the week heavy-hearted, attending the memorial of a friend’s husband. He had left behind a daughter and son, both in their twenties, both reeling in shock and the awful reality of a father taken too soon. Times like these, which many of us have had too many of over the past two and a bit years, are like a cold slap in the face. Wake up! They say. Wake up!
A reminder of the ABC
As we staggered through a week that swelled and rolled, trying to find our feet again, we were reminded of the B of our ABC of life teachings. Bring the light. A call to step out of the shadow and, connecting to our individual gifts, bring illumination to the world.
We developed these teachings in 2021 during a very negative, conflict-ridden time. We were fatigued by a second year of restrictions and mutating virus strains that were wreaking havoc on families, schooling, special occasions and travel. We wanted to step away from the sneering, aggressive behaviour present across all media and out of the global drama triangle. The ABC of life was a small island of solace to rest on.
Then the sudden and appalling riots, looting and destruction taking place in KZN and other hotspots around the country shook us all. We felt simultaneously horrified, fearful, helpless and full of rage. The ABC of life reminded us to keep our focus where we had agency, influence and control - on ourselves.
Not to deny but to accept what is
“Bring the Light” was a clarion call at that very dark time. The call was not to ignore what was going on, deny it, or pretend it did not exist, but rather to find a way to accept that there are some things that we can change, there are some things that we can directly influence and there are others that we absolutely cannot.
It doesn't mean we are expected to approve of what is happening, it means we can feel angry, disappointed, upset and frustrated without it consuming us and making us feel at a loss.
The step to be taken is to work out what our gifts are that we can bring to the world, our world and then use those gifts for good. Remembering that it always starts with me, I must take the active step, no matter how small, to bring the light into my current situation.
Light is dynamic, not passive at all
If we consider that a tree, the A of our ABC, is grounded, solid and tangible, light, on the other hand, is dynamic, moving and intangible. Energy rather than substance. It implies movement and action, it’s not passive at all.
Light illuminates and it brings with it a feeling of safety and warmth. Light reflects and allows us to see colour. So part of bringing the light is that we can bring colour to a situation, infuse it with the vibrancy and variety of colour.
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark;
the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
Some people, however, are afraid of the light. They are afraid of their light, afraid of the attention they may get if they bring their light. So they stay small and insignificant. Fearful of their magnificence.
We say: Be brave. You matter. You make a difference. You are unique, there is no one like you so don’t hide behind a curtain or under a cover. Come out and show your glory, your radiance, your splendour.
When things feel particularly overwhelming and restrictive. When it feels like the dark (forces) are winning. When the darkness of depression overcomes you remember the words of Leonard Cohen, who said:
“There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in.”
There is a crack in everything. In your fear, your depression, your untenable situation. There is a crack - look for it, that is where the light gets in.
And that light is you. Bring the light.
About the author
5th Place is a dynamic organization that's passionate about emotional fitness. We're the creators of Shape of Emotion, a revolutionary tool that's changing the way we understand and manage our emotions. But we're not just about theory - we're about practical, tangible change.
We offer Emotional Fitness Classes and courses that help individuals, from children to adults, build emotional resilience and well-being. For our younger audience, we've created the Vibarealm, a vibrant universe that encourages a healthier interaction with emotions.
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