Lead with Your Light

Posted: 4th September 2015 by admin in Blog
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Sometimes I find social media overwhelmingly negative, a stream of snarky political comments, ongoing complaints about ailments, insults, and verbal attacks from total strangers. Sometimes I also find that it’s the right move to close my laptop and stop reading. It’s curious to me that we (the global “we”) have this platform to share good news , to wish each other well, to celebrate those things that are going right in our lives, and yet so much of what I see posted is negative.  It makes me wonder two things. One—have we really gotten so lonely that the only way to get our emotional needs met is to dump complaints on Facebook?  Two—have we just gone so numb from communicating that way that it no longer strikes us as odd to advertise things we used to keep private? And okay, it makes me wonder a third thing—what if we did chose to talk about what’s right and worth celebrating as much or maybe even more than we talk about what’s wrong?

In one of her older books, Caroline Myss talks about this as victim language. Your victim language knows and seeks out my victim language, and together we keep the culture of being victimized alive.  How can we ever stop being victims if that’s only language we have?  This makes me ponder where the language is for survival. For thriving. For happiness. Are we losing our capability to experience those?

And yet, I know this cannot be true. I have several friends who are dealing with serious issues right now, including one who is receiving chemo for one of the grimmest kinds of cancer.  None of these warrior women post their challenges to Facebook or send out tweets about it. They are, instead, taking each day as it comes, and finding joy in what they are able to find joy in.

Yesterday I was left humbled and speechless by a text from the friend receiving chemo.  It included a photo of her, head newly shaved because most of her hair has fallen out, with an expression on her face that can only be described as “totally her”—beautifully bald and appearing to be laughing. The next couple of texts talked of wanting to go out for pizza with me soon. She’s almost ready.  I’m in, whenever she feels up to it!

We all have options about how we meet our challenges, no matter how big. I have been most fortunate to be able to surround myself with warrior women who meet their challenges head on and find joy in that process. While they are focused on the joy, very little scares them. Instead of shrinking up, they actually expand. They opt to share their internal light with the people in their lives, surrounding us –even filling us—with a warm, white glow when we’re with them…and if their light is strong enough, even when they are not with us.  You know these people. We all do. They’re the people it feels good to be around, and you may not even realize why.  The way I have to come to think of them is that they lead with their light.

Such warrior women are reminders for me about who I want to be in this world. We all have that light. What we choose to do with it is up to us. It isn’t a matter of simply following the light, although that’s never a bad idea (unless you’re starring in the movie Poltergeist). It’s bigger than just following it. What would be different in our collective world and in your own private world if we chose to lead with our light? Is it possible that we would then become those kinds of people that feel good to other people?  Would we end up, even inadvertently, sharing joy?  What if sharing joy and light were the standard?

This is not to say that we shouldn’t share our concerns, fears and grief with other people. That all makes us the very real people we are. Fear, grief and anger are very real things that can take us off our feet sometimes. This is more a question of focus and of where/how we choose to share both celebration and difficulty. True connection, as experienced in emotional intimacy, builds us up. I believe it adds to our capacity for depth of feeling, including joy.

It is an intentional thing, both the cultivating of the light and the leading with it, even in times of tremendous difficulty. As we head into a new season of restoration and reflection, I wish you time to consider leading with your light and the presence of joy and the depth of feeling in our world.  And in yours.


  1. Holly Phillips says:

    Thank you….you have touched me to the core.

  2. Loved this!!!! So true!!!!

  3. Thanks, Jackie! I’m glad it resonated for you!

  4. susan francis says:

    Oh My! What a beautiful piece. Thank you for sharing your own light dear friend.

  5. You are one of my inspirations to do so, Susan. Much love!

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