Living in the question of, “What would I do if I only had 30 days to live?” a sweet little soul took me straight to the core answer.
I could see her little light shining from the front of the plane. As I made my way back to my seat in row 15, our eyes met. And it was instant… LOVE.
Not more than six months old, she bounced in her proud daddy’s arms for most of the two-hour flight. And every time he held her up to face him, she smiled at me and waved.
I smiled. I waved.
I patty-caked from across the aisle.
I held her gaze as long as she held mine.
I was truly overwhelmed by her sweetness.
And I wasn’t the only one.
I laughed as I watched the man in front of me (who had gruffly complained when I asked him if I could move his briefcase to put my carry-on above us) turn into a blabbering fool as he oooozchooooboooozchooed her and worked hard for her attention.
Before the flight ended, we had a silent, but profound conversation. And her eyes stayed glued to mine until it was over.
“We see you, little one. Look at how everyone is responding to you.
We can’t help but notice the light and love you’re bringing to this world
with every smile, giggle, and wave.
We all want to witness it, to be close to it, to reflect it back to you, to mirror it.
We are all bathing in the warm glow of your light,
and the medicine that is your pure being…”
For a moment, I thought about the little boy I’d noticed while boarding—about five years old. My heart was heavy as I remembered his anxiety and frustration, and its source. His momma was frazzled. He must have felt my attention, and when he looked up, I had smiled at him and sent him some light. He smiled back quickly, glanced back at his momma, and then disappeared into a game on his iPad.
Holding the baby’s gaze, I added…
“As you figure out how powerful you really are,
you might find that the people around you forget to look you in the eyes, or refuse to. Try not to take it personally. That’s about them.
It’s likely they’ve been in the dark so long that your growing light hurts their eyes and sets them off-balance. You keep shining… That’s your only responsibility.”
Just then, she smiled and clapped, and my heart opened.
Almost immediately, she laid her head on her daddy’s shoulder and drifted into dreamland, leaving me with a full heart as I turned my attention to the research I had been gathering on the physiological effects of writing narrative.
I was on my way to a retreat for Innerlight Practitioners, where we spent the weekend talking about the neurobiological requirements for healing, and I thought of that baby and the little boy so many times.
And my son…
Just a few days before that plane ride, I’d received feedback from several of my readers for Upside-Down Messenger. The majority of the feedback was, “Wow. Your son. The words he spoke into your life. It’s like he came to help you.”
It’s absolutely true that Aaron brought the light back into my life. And it’s absolutely true that there were many moments when his light blinded my eyes, because I had been in the dark for so long. Sometimes his light shone on my darkest places—the fears of not being good enough, the shame of not being able to get my life together, etc. And it’s true that I had plenty of horrible responses to it.
Fortunately, I’d made a lot of promises to him when he arrived, and after learning more about neurobiological needs for learning, growth, and healing this past weekend, I know how powerful those promises and my persistence to stay true to them actually were.
What if were true—what I said to that baby—that our one and only
responsibility is to shine our light and acknowledge it in others?
Which relationships in our lives would shift?
Which problems in the world might diminish, even disappear, if we focused on the light in the people, cultures, and conflicts that appear to be so different than us?
What if we looked each other in the eyes and said…
“I see you.
I see the light and love you’re bringing to this world
with every smile, dream, and action.
I want to witness it, to be close to it,
to reflect it back to you, to mirror it.
I want to bathe in the warm glow of your light,
and the medicine that is your pure being…
As you figure out how powerful you really are,
you might find that the people around you
forget to look you in the eyes, or refuse to.
Try not to take it personally.
That’s about them.
It’s likely they’ve been in the dark so long that
your growing light hurts their eyes and sets them off-balance.
I’m not encouraging you to ignore your darkness.
And I’m not afraid of it.
Because I can see the power of your light.
And I know that when you shine it on those dark places,
they will be transmuted into more medicine for you and the world.
That’s your only responsibility.”