December 28, 2018

That Light Hasn’t Gone Out In You…

A love letter to the exhausted, the beaten down, the spread too thins, the ones who feel like giving up. This one is for you.

That light in you hasn’t gone out my friend. You only think it has.

You only sit there in the darkness, surrounded by the smoke of a thousand smoldering embers snuffed out before their time, because you think that’s all you have left in you. You only throw up your hands in defeat and refuse to search for a single spark in the shadows that surround you, because the tank already feels beyond empty anyway. You’re running on the proverbial “E” …for exhausted. And what you know more than anything, is that there is no flame without the fuel.

You’ve grown familiar with the coldness, where once you knew what it was to feel the heat on your face. To feel the fire in your eyes. Let’s be honest friend, you once knew what it was to shine. To leap in great leaps. To stride in great strides. And to tight rope walk the outer precipice ledge of your dreams without once a fear of falling. You once knew what it was to fly. And now here you sit, thinking that you’re grounded. That you’ll never once know what it is to catch air beneath you again. But the truth is, the real get down to the heart of it, nitty gritty truth of it is, you’ve just forgotten where it is that you keep your wings.

You’ve tied anchor after anchor around your heart. Tethering up your actions in the tangled web of someone else’s dreams. Of what they say success is. Of what the world tells us we should want, when it (and ok, Bono) remind us that we still haven’t found what we’re looking for. It tells us what we’re not enough of. And it tells us what we’re not at all. What we will never be. And it reminds us that everyone else around us is blessed with a muchness- a look at me, I have it all togetherness- that our broken hearts will never come to know.

And so one by one, the firefly sparks we used to throw off into this world blink and burn out. Convinced that they too will never be enough. So what’s the point in trying to shine? That fire in our eyes, that one that used to tell us who we are and what we stand for, is no longer staring back when we look in the mirror. Until we can hardly recognize the scattered ashes of the person who has taken our place.

I know you feel like that light in you has gone out. But trust me, because I’ve been there before too. You only think it has.

You have no idea what a light you are in this world. You couldn’t possibly know. Of the numbered masses who take shelter and warm themselves from the comfort and constance of your fire. Of the paths that you have been a light & a lantern for. Of the ways home you & you alone are lighting at this very moment. There are untold many whose lives have been made better, bigger, brighter just because they happened to stumble upon you, and like a beacon in the darkness you helped them find their way again.

So I know it feels like that has gone out for good now. I know it feels like that fire you only sort of remember now must have actually belonged to someone else all along. But the truth is, this world needs you on fire burning up the darkness. For there is far too much darkness in the world. It needs you blazing the trail and lighting the way for those who come behind you. The real truth is, you have no idea how brightly you shine and how far your light reaches, but that is only because it is a light that comes from within. And even the sun doesn’t know what it is to feel sunlight on its face, but that doesn’t stop it from shining on.So do what you need to do today. Rest, recharge, take a few days to fill that tank. But then come back shining brighter than ever.

Because that light in you hasn’t gone out my friend. You only think it has.

And the truth is, the world needs more lights just like you.

  1. leah

    I sat here with tears streaming down my face reading this. It’s crazy how we stumble across words that we desperately need to hear and be reminded of at just the right time. The entirety of 2018 has been me in the darkness, trying to find that spark again. While I’m still not certain I will find it, your words gave me a glimmer of hope that I will. Thank you <3

  2. Debby

    So needed to hear this. 2018 left me broken and I am eager to push back in 2019. Dust myself off and try again. Thank you for your words of encouragement Mary!

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