Light A Candle Instead

“It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” ~ Christopher Society Motto … 

Darkness will always exist throughout our lives… of this we can be certain. For no matter how painful, unfair, or cruel things may become for us, we cannot change the reality of the situations, only our perceptions and attitudes about them. And although in the physical sense of our lives we can dispel the actual darkness around us by turning on lights or lighting candles, in the spiritual, emotional, corporeal, and intellectual elements of our lives, it is not so simple. <!–more–> 

The intangible darkness that enters our lives can be overwhelming at times and often distracts us from our goals, desires, and purpose in life. And without the presence of a light switch or candle with which to dispel the darkness, coping with it can leave us with anxiety, stress, fear, unhappiness, grief, and so many more negative emotions that diminish our ability to deal with the darkness. But if we can accept the inevitability of the darkness as a necessary part of our experience in life, we can begin to cope with it and perhaps even allow it to help us to grow and develop in ways that would otherwise not be possible.

There are a number of folks I know, whose conversations always stay focused on how difficult they have things and how hard life seems to be on them. And although it is easy to complain about how bad things are, we are called to be greater than our afflictions–to rise in times of darkness. During such occasions in our lives, we should instead ask ourselves, “What can I do about this?”

When the darkness closes in on you, do not curse it–doing so accomplishes nothing. In such times, light a candle instead, so that you might be able to see much more clearly and brighten the path that lay before yourself and those around you. Keep a candle always in your heart and light it whenever you need it–for clarity, for hope, for courage, or for resolve. You may not be able to eliminate the darkness, but you can take away its power in your life.

Develop more productive ways to deal with the “darkness” in your life than complaining.

Questions to consider:

What does it take to be able to light a candle when dark times come?

What kinds of candles do you have in reserve that you can use when a time comes when you need to do so? What gives you hope?

Where and how do people seem to learn that cursing the darkness is an appropriate or useful reaction to dark times?

For further thought:

“The first question to be answered by any individual or any social group, facing a hazardous situation, is whether the crisis is to be met as a challenge to strength or as an occasion for despair.” ~ Harry Emerson Fosdick

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Filed under Commentary, Food For Thought, Living, Opinion

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