Not just shiny and bright
I've been thinking a lot since I wrote my perspective post. I appreciate that pondering often leads to new understandings and deeper layers of meaning. That is certainly true in this case.
As an eternal optimist and believer in the GOOD in the world, I find myself, in times of stress or worry, defaulting to a "chin-up, slap-a-smile-on-your-face" mindset.
My work in women's circle has allowed me to examine more closely the societal and cultural expectation known as "toxic positivity". It's an interesting concept for someone who truly tries to stay positive and who truly believes in and values setting intention to "be the light" in the world.
However, after I wrote the post I felt compelled to share the "afterthoughts" I had that have helped me gain more clarity around what I truly mean when I say "BE THE LIGHT".
Let's start with what I DO NOT mean. I am not putting out a call to "be the light" in a scattering of stardust and rainbows sort of way. My hindsight has helped me see how trite it is to carelessly toss out a "be the light" mantra and think, "Okay, we're all good now."
To be clear, I DO strongly believe in being the best possible example of goodness, justice and mercy in the world. HOWEVER, these values do not always come in pretty, shiny packages.
BE THE LIGHT can and should mean exposing that which has been hidden.
BE THE LIGHT can and should mean bravely flipping the switch to face what's hiding in the shadows.
BE THE LIGHT can and should mean dragging INJUSTICE and HATRED out of the dark corners by their scruffy little necks.
Interestingly, we tend to think of light as bright and happy while ignoring or, perhaps, forgetting that its true purpose is to cast out darkness.
If you look up "illuminate" and "expose" in the dictionary, their definitions are quite similar.
a. To make clear
b. To bring to the fore: highlight
a. To make known; bring to light
b. To disclose the faults or crimes of
I ended my perspective post with the following:
Where and how can you be a light? I'll meet you there.
Where and how can you BE THE LIGHT? Flip that switch. Roll up your sleeves. Let's go, my friend. We have some hard work to do. I'll meet you there.