Discover more from Take What You Need
See and Be The Light
Greetings lovely one,
What does it mean to see and be the light? Over the years I’ve thought a lot about – and will probably spend my life contemplating – this question, and attempting to live out whatever comes up as answers. But I’ve learned that I look at the question in many different ways, according to where I happened to be in life.
I’ve taken a dead-end approach that was against making “the light” this catch-all term for a form of spiritual escapism. And so my questions weren’t trying to find a definition to live by, but rather a process of eliminating a laundry list of issues I struggled to let go of. I had no interest in “light and love” associated with victimization, turning cheeks, or being a doormat.
I’ve also taken a metaphorical approach, trying hard to ignore the implications of light meaning “good” and dark meaning “bad.” So I’ve embraced sharing quotes like “Give light and people will find the way” (Ella Baker), or “Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light” (Dr. Brene Brown). Heck, I still sometimes find myself humming songs from my childhood church memories: “Jesus is the Light, Light of The World! He’s the road out of darkness, the brightest way out!” Even still, those implications are bothersome ones I haven’t been able to reconcile yet.
In 2016 when I first started attending worship gatherings with Friends, I was introduced to the phrase “Holding you in the Light” and I remember thinking, “Why don’t you just say ‘I’ll be praying for you’?” Since that time, I’ve read articles, minutes from committee meetings, faith and practice books, and listened to podcasts about the “Inward Light” concept of Friends. I concluded that I was overthinking this. According to Britannica, the most basic breakdown of the theme is a way of saying a "direct inward apprehension of God” as in perception/grasping/understanding/experience. And I decided that I’d just say “Love” since that was one of the names for God that matched my direct experience.
So, I was left to ponder how to see through the lens of eyeglass-bound eyes “that of God” in not only myself – which was hard enough – but also in people who intentionally and without reservation commit atrocious acts toward others. Even more a challenge is being a co-creator of life-giving fruit of a Spirit of Love. And while I contemplate and reflect, life dances and invites me to move. And I realize that I must live the lessons I learn in the moment. Each moment at a time. Each encounter at a time. I typically find myself at a choice I need to make … and I always make a choice, because choosing not to do anything at all is yet another choice made. And I’m reminded of this quote by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation – either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”
With some variation and adaptation to the circumstance, that’s what seeing light and being light has come to mean to me. Ways to respond to the rhythm of metamorphosis that gives birth to more birth and rebirths. Ways to consent to an invitation to bring sustenance to our shared experience of breathing air and earth dwelling. Ways to embrace ubuntu: “I am because we are.”
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
Thanks for reading! Care to share the love?
Pass Take What You Need on to a colleague/friend/someone you think would enjoy, and share widely.
Subscribe to get access to new posts and other treasures in your inbox.
What’s the Buzz? Here’s what’s happening
I’ve been rocking my #loveselflovebiz tee for a while but never made the shirt public to anyone else. Well, that’s no longer the case! With a slight tweak to the original design, I’ve finally launched an online store to create more stigma crushing mental health awareness for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
The Store is now LIVE and you can SAVE up to 35% on your purchases for the next 2 days.
Click the picture below to go to the store.
I’ll be adding more designs to store throughout the year and welcome suggestions!
Tales from the blog keepers
Black History Month is around the corner and yes, we still need to destigmatize mental health in Black communities so we can nurture more happy and healthy legacy creators. That’s why we need resources like Black Girls Smiling today.
A growing segment of Americans are identifying as spiritual but not religious. For those who choose to associate with spiritual communities or organized religion, should we have to jump through hoops just to belong? Quaker researcher and writer, Rhiannon Grant asks What does membership mean to you?
Wellness comes from knowing your strengths and finding ways to move forward, one step at a time. And the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance has created a tool to help you do that. Check it out!
Muse of the month
Blerd’s the word
February 1st marks the beginning #28daysofBlackCosplay, where I get to see some of my favorite cosplayers express their latest renditions of character portrayal. Follow along the hashtag to celebrate Black Nerdom. “Visibility, representation, and celebration” are core tenets according to the hashtag creator Chaka Cumberbatch-Tinsley. If you’re wondering why this is even a thing … you obviously haven’t been hanging around geek culture communities very long. Trust and believe racism is just as rampant in these spaces as it is outside of them. But as we do, we take thrown stones and build communal resistance, and reimagined possibility.
Here’s a few of the top picks that I shared last year:
Okay and this whole video is just...awesome!
Cosplayers: Beat = Tacodactyl ::: Cube = Asia Neal ::: Piranha = Stormborn Cosplays ::: Gum = Aaimz Tako ::: Mew = Avarent Cosplay ::: DJ Professor K = Reese Crawley
Until next time!
P.S. Once you subscribe, be sure to check your spam box (sometimes these emails go there) AND add “email@example.com” to your safe sender list. If you’re using Gmail you can drag this email from your Promotions tab into your Primary inbox.