(yesterday’s spectacular sunset)
“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.”
According to Answers.com, approximately 490,000 precious, perfect babies will arrive on Planet Earth today. And again tomorrow and the next day and so on. And I believe every single one of them will be born with a little light inside, carrying unlimited potential to make this world a brighter place. Like the old spiritual song says, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.”
Of course, the ups and downs of life may cause their lights to dim over the years. Some may burn out altogether. But sometimes it takes days or months or years of walking through the dark to realize we’re tired of being lost, that we’re capable of so much more. Did you know these lights we’ve got inside us are rechargeable and reusable?
Many of you have rediscovered that shiny, happy part of you in recent years. Woo-hoo! Doesn’t it feel amazing? And some of you are working your way out of the dark right now, trying to re-ignite that spark within. You want to be a blessing to others. You want to lead by example and influence others to stay positive. You want to appreciate the little gifts in big challenges. You want an intimate relationship with inspiration – finding it, feeling it, sharing it each day. You want to pursue your passions, conquer your fears, and get to know real joy.
What you do not want is to exhaust yourself by trying to hold up the sun. There is a big difference between shining from within and putting on a mask covered in glitter and sparkles. Over the years, you’ve probably accumulated a vast collection of facades: the happy-no-matter-what-mask, the pretend-your-feelings-aren’t-hurt-mask, the you-matter-more-than-me-mask, the happy-to-help-in-any-situation-mask, the I’m-tough-as-nails-mask, the life-is-perfect-mask. We’ve all got them in our closets. Some folks get so used to wearing their masks that they forget to ever take them off.
Here’s the problem: when all you care about is how bright and shiny you look to others, that God-given light on the inside begins to fade. You cannot honor and embrace who you came here to be while pretending to be someone or something you’re not. Think of your light like a fire within. You must tend to it to keep it ablaze; protect it from the elements, stoke the fire whenever it’s beginning to fade, keep providing what it needs to burn bright.
And as you do, you illuminate the best parts of yourself. You magically attract and gravitate towards authentically shiny-happy people who want you to shine, too. You finally understand what it means to love yourself. You light up a room without even trying. And you live up to the potential and possibility you carried with you on that very first day you arrived on this big blue, spinning planet.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.