The Light Within Us

“There is a gravity within that continually weighs on us and pulls us away from the light. Negativity is an addiction to the bleak shadow that lingers around every human form…

You can transfigure negativity by turning it toward the light of your soul.”

– from John O’Donohue, Anam Cara, p.200.

We are often drawn to the darkness within us. The darkness in our lives. Negativity can easily become a life force of its own, feeding off of us. However, the more attention we pay to it, the more we believe in its power, the more it grows and roots itself deeper into our soil.

We must learn to continuously focus on the light, not the shadows. Once we learn to do this, it will be as though the light is shimmering and growing right before us, offering us so much more than the darkness ever could.

The darkness is safe; it shades us from the harsh rays of hope and responsibility, for within the world of negativity and shadow, we can remain closed. We can remain safe.

It is not enough to be safe. It is not enough to survive. There is too much within us, waiting to happen. We have too many dreams, too much soul, too much light to share. We are serving nothing by hiding our selves, by setting ourselves aside, or by allowing something or someone else to control or define us.

It is not enough to be safe. We must be reckless. Every now and then, we must throw ourselves into the wind and take the chance to fly. We are strong, much stronger than we know. We can survive the falls; what we can not survive is the darkness. It steals our light, our energy, and manipulates us into believing we are not brave enough, beautiful enough, strong enough, smart enough, something enough! to fly. When, in fact, we have everything we need to make our wildest dreams come true, right there, inside us.

Our soul is patiently waiting for us to have the strength to be reckless.

To clarify, reckless does not mean you need to jump off buildings and have a ridiculous amount of unprotected sex. True recklessness is allowing the wild, roguish parts of our soul to have their way for a while. To find another job, to write that book, hug that person, and not give a damn what anyone is saying about you. To do it, anyways.

It doesn’t have to be forever. We don’t have to be strong every minute of the day. But we do need to be alive. We do need to take responsibility for our lives. It is not enough to blame the darkness. We all have darkness, and it can almost be assured that our darkness is only a fog, permeating our vision but penetrating nothing. Break through it, and we can see.

Break through it, and we are free.

Knoxville, Tennessee

There is more to say than I could possibly share with you.

The past few days have been just wonderful, filled with music and conversation and everything inspiring and true.

Knoxville was great; Scott and Laura were so much fun. There were the four dogs, who were just ridiculous- Po (white trash), Billie, Miles, and … I forgot the last one’s name. Miles was the licker. He licked and licked and would probably lick until his tongue came off. For an OCD-tendency individual like myself, this was hard to handle. However, Miles ended up being my favorite of the four, with his black hair and adorable face. His licking was atrocious, though, and although he eventually learned that it freaked me out and left me alone a bit more, he still managed to learn the art of the drive-by lick, where he would casually, happily trot on by, and surreptitiously lick my leg. Hahahah, drive-by lickings. Too ridiculous.

The other day I met up with this guy, Zach, from couch-surfing, who ended up being a really great guy. He showed me around the University of Tennessee campus, talked a lot about sports and 80’s music, haha, and it was nice to spend the day walking and talking with him.

The night before I had to leave, we all went to a sushi bar where Scott was playing with his buddy, Dave. So Laura and I had yummy sushi (my second time ever) and listened to the band play until late into the night. It was fantastic to watch Scott perform – it was a completely different, yet just as authentic and real, side of him, and he was really quite charming and dynamic. He played the harmonica and the saxophone, and sang wonderfully. His buddy, Dave, was the acoustic guitarist… and he was incredible. Let me tell you, he sang a Tom Waits song called “Picture in a Frame” that basically had me on the floor. Which reminds me, I was able to “borrow” a bunch of awesome music from Scott’s external hard drive, and pass a lot of great stuff back along to him. I have more music than I possibly know what to do with now – over 11,000 songs on my ITunes.

So, all in all, my stay in Knoxville with Scott and Laura was absolutely wonderful. It was so hard to believe that these people would have remained strangers for the entirety of my life, had I not been open to the whole couch-surfing experience. I thank my friends who encouraged me to look into it, and I thank everything good in this world that all has gone well on this crazy trip of mine. It truly has been magical.

There is no way I can begin to share everything with you. I almost feel like giving up, just because I’m overwhelmed with the concept of writing all that needs to be written.

After Knoxville, I headed to Nashville. Oh, Nashville.

Nashville Nashville Nashville.

But that’s a whole other story, and I’ll save that for the morning. 🙂