Everything Is Illuminated

Like millions of  people across the globe I sat with eyes fixated on the TV screen  as it started to become apparent that Barack Obama would be the next President of the United States.

I woke the next morning feeling a sense of something having shifted. In me. In the world.

Anything and everything seems possible.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
Marianne Williamson – A Return to Love

Several years ago I attended a seminar, the closing event of which is something I will never forget.

On the last day all the chairs were removed from the large hotel conference room the event was held in. Everything pushed to the edges of the room. We all stood. Close to 1000 people in a rough circle 2 or 3 lines deep to allow us all to fit into the now empty space. Every person was given a candle and the lights were turned out. Then, on each side of the large room a brief flare of light as two candles were lit – barely visible in the vastness of the darkened ballroom.

The two people who held those candles leaned over and lit the candles of the people standing next to them. And those people did the same.  Slowly one person at a time, candle after candle was lit.

As the burning  candles increased in number, people no longer lit just the candles of the people on their left or right. They looked in front, behind. Wherever there was a pocket of darkness, someone willingly shared their light. Within minutes the room was blazing with light, without a single break in the brightness.

It was one of the most intense experiences of my life – this powerful demonstration of what happens when we share our light with others.

I was reminded of this experience as I listened to President Elect Obama’s speech. Watching in wonder as people cried, danced, and cheered in jubilation – their faces lit by the glow of shared hopes and dreams.  These were not people united by fear or the desire to fight a common enemy. These were people tied together by dreams for a better country. A better world. These people were all lit up from the inside.

This presidential campaign began as with a solitary light and in the days leading up to the announcement that Barack Obama is the President Elect, people have been spreading the light with ferocity.

The world was blazing on November 4th. We have to keep it that way.

I don’t know about you, but I’m burning bright. I intend to keeping my candle lit. I’m looking around me for the dark places into which I can extend my flame.

I feel braver now. More sure of the fact that I can and should let my own light shine without apology or wavering.

The room has by no means been completely lit. Pockets of darkness remain – and the work of spreading the light needs to continue with the same determination we had during the intense days of the campaign.

I believe that if we all do this, pretty soon everything will be illuminated.

Keep the candles burning.

  • Elliott

    Wow, Sue! You are such a good writer. I so enjoy reading your words. Such gifts they are. They top off an evening of great delight for me. Much thanks. Elliott

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