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Light in the Darkness

Alyssa Mages, CVO

What makes us hesitate to be our truest selves?  Society?  Yes.  Family & friends?  I hope not, but sometimes we tend to value their opinion more than our own.  Teammates?  Yep.  Peers?  Certainly.

So how can we tune them out and tune IN to ourselves?  Well, I didn’t know how I was going to do this, it’s a process I’ve been avoiding because I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to like all I would discover, or rediscover.  And hearing my innermost voice…what was she going to say?  But I dove in and am still diving down. It’s dark in here, but there’s light & beauty too; and in the quiet of the darkness I am finding the answers I sought.

Those dark places are the ones in which I’ve buried old hurts, closed off spaces from myself so that I didn’t dwell. But until recently I’d not taken the time or effort to open them back up, clear things out, reorganize, examine & reexamine more closely what was in there, and why and then throw away what was no longer necessary to cultivate and bring into the light what was.  

I’ve always joked that I do in fact have a ‘dark side’.  Trying to make light of the seriousness that I felt within.  By dark I’m not referring to what some make synonymous with evil.  Dark as in heaviness, disruption, stirring the proverbial pot.  Akin to a phoenix that if let her out, I wasn’t sure I could or would be able to be in control.  And if I’m being honest, I wasn’t sure that I would want to. 

I’ve been smacked in the heart, soul, mind & metaphorically the face lately.  The movement of Black Lives Matter is one I am truly passionate about embracing & advancing.  But it’s also made me realize – painfully & gratefully – that I hadn’t embraced it wholly until now.  Ugh.  I’d become isolated, microcosmically outspoken, but beyond that?  Not so much, not nearly enough.  I want to be more than just words.  I want to be more than empathetic.  Not just want, I need to be.  My children need me to be.  Our community, country – this world needs me to be.  All the while being cognizant that this narrative is NOT ABOUT ME.  I am sharing these words in the spirit of awareness & support.

Silent majorities make and break societies daily.  I don’t like being broken nor being amidst the shards. I’m innately a fixer.  A healer.  But I’ve got work of my own to do before I dare to venture out.  I must identify my prejudices.  Own them.  Examine them, dissect them, discard them.  Learn.  Learn more.  Do. Do more. Then speak up. Speak out.  Except when silence is needed.  Then I’ll simply stop, shut up, and listen.  

Opening my inner consciousness is one part of this journey.  My goal in grounding myself and being open to the potentiality of ME.  To be more.  More present.  More aware.  More of it ALL.  Except when I can’t, because sometimes I will fail.  But I’ll never stop listening, learning, trying, doing, and being.  I’ve embarked on this journey into my own darkness to find that inner spark that I WILL kindle into a healing & outpouring of cleansing flame. 

What constitutes your darkness?  How will you travel in and emerge on the other side?  The saying that “Each journey starts with a single step” may be considered cliché by some, but it IS relevant.  So take that 1st step.  Then another.  Make the effort.  Find your own light so in turn you can shine the way for someone else’s voyage to begin.

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