The general meaning of this idiom is that the subject matter in question is revealed or made clear. Thus there is an implication of greater transparency and understanding. I was given pause to ponder this a few days ago following an unpleasant experience. It left me questioning as to whether it is always benefitial to shed light on the subject, or are some things better left in the dark?
If you have ever been in a night club in the day, when the lights are on and there is no music, perhaps you can relate to what I mean. A space that just the night before held ambiance, was appealing and alive in its shadowness, can suddenly appear stark and quite frankly ugly. So why would anyone want to turn on the light? I personally prefer when they dim the lights rather than turn them up.
My trane of thought leads me further down the track into the realm of what the New Age movement terms the “Lightworker”. Of late I have often contemplated the reason as to why any one chooses to be a Lightworker. Heaven knows, no one appreciates when you turn on the light – it only reveals and highlights the things that many are so desperate to keep hidden, even oneself. After all, when you turn on the light, you see the Shadows. The reality that is layed bare and transparent is a far cry from the fairy tale-like impression often portrayed by the mystics.
So what’s the value of shedding light on the subject and does it really serve a purpose?
Well, I’ll leave that one up to you, dear Reader, to choose for yourself, what feels lightest.
There are two kinds of light – the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures. ~James Thurber (1894-1961)
“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.” ~ Anne Lamott
When I read this quote, I had one of those visceral hits to my solar plexus. I am a healer and teacher and this spoke volumes to me. In a second, this phrase summed up and revealed my life purpose. All I and any of us ever have to do, is BE. So why do we as humans, spend so much time doing instead of being, or saving boats as opposed to shining?
Nothing has brought this more home to me than the recent earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan. Yes, there has been terrible devestation and loss of life. Yet amazing and wonderous stories of love and caring are surfacing more and more each day. Nature has shown us that once the material possessions and comforts and infrastructure is removed, we are all that is left. Although some do still not “get it” and perhaps it is simply a matter of time, so many people have seen the light in others. I am reminded of that saying, “when it is darkest, then you can see the stars”.
My heart and thoughts go out to those who are in the stricken areas and for who everyday has changed and is now an unforeseen challenge. It is these people who are showing us that it is time for all of us to stand and shine.