Keeping The Light On

What does searching or reaching for the light look like to you? It’s not the same for everyone, nor do I humbly think it should be. We are all in different stages of life and impacted by various surrounding environments. One person could be in a war-torn environment, another could be in an abusive environment and another in job or housing instability. On the flip side, someone could be in a secure, safe, contented stage of life and yet still be deeply affected by larger world affairs and personal life situations. We are all impacted by the environment around us on a micro and macro level. The catch is that we don’t all process life the same way nor is life happening to us in the same way. We don’t all have the same tools or resources and in many cases, not having these tools or resources is not a situation where there was no effort on an individual’s part to attain or develop said tools or resources for themselves. Some people simply lack the capacity to or never had access to an environment that allowed for growth. No fault of their own nor am I assigning blame somewhere. In some instances, access is still a privilege. With regards to capacity, a human being can only function to their highest level of ability and capacity is different for each person. To this end, how we each approach a challenge is unique to everyone given their trauma, history, environment, and ability to process the weight of the emotions that come with challenges. I say all of this to say that finding the positive in a situation might not always be realistic. 

Let’s take the unfortunate situation of an innocent human being trapped in a war-torn environment. They might have lost all worldly possessions and quite possibly all their family. Everything they know is gone. That's such a devastating loss to comprehend and my heart goes out to anyone in such a situation. Can you imagine saying “You have to keep searching or reaching for the light” to someone living through death and destruction? The notion of “Searching or reaching for the light” can be seen as toxic positivity or a complete lack of situational awareness when offered as support to an individual experiencing war, abuse, lack of necessities, or even basic human rights. The idea might have been to express the notion of having hope during tough times. Maybe the right intention but also, missing the mark. My next thought - Is hope possible in all situations? I'm trying to be realistic and not idealistic when thinking about the notion of hope. I'm personally not sure I could hold on to hope knowing I could be killed at any moment by a mortar or sniper attack during war or an invasion. Survival mode might be the only way of operating under those harsh conditions. In addition, I question whether “searching or reaching for the light” is the same thing as having hope. Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. 

But…are there not times when one clings to the hope of better and that hope gives you what is needed to keep moving forward? Isn’t it hope in the darkest of times that helps us hold on and push through? My personal opinion is that without hope we as a collective are lost. Food for thought - who replenishes hope though? Is it externally replenished or is it an internal individual job? If we are responsible for replenishing our hope, how does one do this practically? Watch inspiring videos online or read about the selfless acts of others and use this to reassure ourselves? Do we look towards other figures of virtue and goodness and somehow our hope is replenished by-proxy? I don’t know and I don’t have all the answers. But what I do think is that if “hope” is the goal, searching or reaching for the light are the actions to take. And if hope is vital to life, then taking the steps to search and reach for the light is equally as necessary for survival. I mean collective AND individual survival. Not one or the other. Both. One feeds the other and vice versa. 

On an individual level, I’m challenging you to search and reach for the light – in whatever way your situation allows, in whatever way that looks like for you, with whatever capacity you have. Also, your reality might be so dark that there genuinely is no light, and you simply have to sit and be still until you can find your bearings. And that is ok too. Because someone in the collective will keep a light burning such that when you can move again, there is light for you to search and reach for. We are each other’s keepers, and you never know if your light is helping to guide someone home.


Peace and Love you beautiful beings. Stay fly.