On January 20th, the incredible Amanda Gorman shared her poem “The Hill We Climb” with our deeply divided, grieving, and traumatized nation. In her inaugural poem, Gorman speaks of the bravery it takes to believe that there is always a light, should we allow ourselves to see it and perhaps, more importantly, should we allow ourselves to be it. I was struck by the beauty of her statement that seemed, at once, to be so simple and yet so complex. Light is expansive and, as such, lends itself to filling the void created by fear; to inspiring our hope in ourselves and in others, should it be allowed to shine. Our tendency in crisis and turmoil, though, is to shield our light-- to guard it for fear that if it extinguishes that we will be left in complete darkness, with no way out. How might we be brave enough to keep seeing light through darkness—to use our faith in this light to keep our own burning?
Reflecting on this new year, Kylie shared with me a framework for using values to anchor and orient our actions (check out this post on our Instagram!) I wonder if values might be the kind of fuel we need to keep our light burning…to believe that no matter what we face that we will never completely burn out. If values anchor me to my life source, then I might begin to trust that I always have the chance to be plugged in. I might begin to loosen my guarding of my light, knowing that its fuel will never run out. I might begin to give myself permission, without fear or apology, to shine no matter the circumstance. I could use this bravery to shine light on the parts of our society and its norms that block out light or that tell us we are better off safeguarding our fuel, lest we risk trapping ourselves in inescapable darkness. We might even use our light as a signal to others that they too should shine and as a reminder to ourselves that their light can ignite our own bravery, if we allow ourselves to see it.