It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness
-Peter Benenson, founder, Amnesty International
Tonight it’s dark within me, and around me, and if not for that spark of light deep down inside, I would be gone.
I often wonder about this spark, this tenacious source of light that sometimes flares up with passion and conviction, but far more often flickers on the edge of extinction- yet never completely goes out. It keeps me alive, and it also keeps me doing- working, studying, volunteering for a more just world. And working on myself, too- talking with the Wise Woman, writing, reading, reflecting.
Other people see this light within me. They recognise it as compassion and kindness and determination to create change. They call it leadership, courage, willingness to speak up. They tell me I am smart, funny, open. They say these things when I ask why, why would anybody want be around me, such a disgusting person, a worthless thing? Why is it of any consequence if I die, what does it matter if I go? I asked these questions, though not with words, in 2009. Those were the answers I got. I didn’t believe them then and I struggle to now.
But I do know that it’s there, and sometimes I allow myself to consider that my life- my future- will be about working so that this spark of ‘me’ can develop into a stronger light source, one that outshines the Negative Voice, feeds my spirit and my soul, helps me stay in the world and contribute in many ways.
Well then. Carry on.