One night I walked from my bedroom, down the hallway, down my stairs, across the living room and into the kitchen without second guessing or even watching where I was going. It wasn’t until my friend who was visiting and walking with me asked, “Do you not turn on lights? How do you see where you are going?” I hadn’t even realized that I had navigated through the entire house without turning on a single light. Meanwhile, she was behind me stumbling her way through the dark. I looked her in a stupor and thought, “oh shit, my bad. This must have been a terrible midnight snack trip for you!”
Instead of turning on the lights we keep all the toxicity hidden in the dark.
It’s impressive how we can adapt to darkness, we know the nuances of what we are familiar with. We’ve stubbed our toe on the coffee table enough times to know how to avoid it completely. Our body naturally counts the stairs and which one creaks on the way up. We become so familiar that we don’t think to turn on the light even though it would make things easier, we’d rather stumble over things that we can’t see to avoid turning on the light and it be too bright in our eyes forcing them to adjust. So, we keep the lights off instead.
Maybe you do this too except with life and with yourself. Perhaps you keep the lights off in toxic friendships and relationships because they feel familiar and you are use to the nuances of someone who has creaky steps that you avoid or you know how to go all the way around the coffee table trait that you’ve stubbed your toe on before. Instead of turning on the lights you keep all the toxicity hidden in the dark. It could possibly be that you keep yourself in the dark. You may keep the lights off with your vulnerability and emotions in fear of getting hurt so you avoid dealing with your emotions and bottle them and see the world with a negative view.
There are many areas in our lives that we choose to ignore by becoming so familiar and adjusting our life around the issue instead of turning the light on. Where do you avoid turning the lights on in your life? What areas do you stumble because you’d rather walk in the dark so you won’t have to adjust when it comes to light?
Turning on the light looks like identifying the fact that it’s dark in a certain area in your life. Doing so by not shooing away the thoughts that make you uncomfortable like how you’re not doing anything to get out of that job you hate, or why you keep going back to someone who makes you feel terrible or that friend that you’ve out grown and don’t want to hang out with but feel obligated. You shoo those thoughts away when they need to be explored and examined. Having those conversations with yourself, a trusted friend or advisor will help you get to the bottom of them.
Keeping the light is comprised of you looking within yourself even further to notice anything else that may be a little dark and murky find the courage to really look within. Also, try phoning a friend. It wasn’t until my friend said, “hey girl can we turn on the lights” that I realized they needed to be turned on. Ask someone of your closest friends and family who truly know you and what the best for you, what it is that you could improve on as a person. THis will confirm some things that you knew about yourself and some things you had no idea about but it encourages accountability and growth.
Living in the dark can become incredibly comfortable so much so that we’d rather not do the work of turning on the light. But in darkness comes unseen obstacles and avoidable pitfalls. Find the light, turn it on and adjust so you can shine.