“The light is so much better than the darkness.”
I came to this revelation more recently, after taking a risk and talking publicly about some of my thoughts on my faith, identity, and sexuality at the time. I understood then and believe now that, to really tell my story as authentically as it deserves to be told, I cannot be afraid to explore the darker parts.
That might seem ironic since I just said the light was better. Perhaps this other quote will give you some perspective: “Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
You should know that quote struck a chord within me deeply as soon as I read it.
I have had experiences with the light and the darkness, experiences that have incited all kinds of feelings. What continues to matter to me is how I negotiate myself amidst those varying feelings, how I internalize both the seemingly good and the seemingly bad. I highlight both because I think I can be trapped by either one.
Generally speaking, I can say I am good because I do or experience good, or I can say that I am bad because I do or experience bad, and in my opinion, neither are entirely true. Practically speaking, I think life is a lot more than just good and bad things; that way of thinking just seems way too simplified.
Personally, I would say that I am good because I am fundamentally created, known, and loved by the Father. With God, I have deep-seated perspective about who I am in Him and there is nothing that I can do or experience that will change that. With Him, I can acknowledge all of me, everything from the most wonderful to the most shameful, and His love never fails. That love impacts how I perceive and interpret the events of this life. And the more I accept that love, the better I am. The more I surrender to the fundamental concept that I am known and loved by the Creator, the more I can be secure in my own skin and the more I can make moves for bigger and better things rather than remain trapped by an unfortunate past or an uncertain future.
Consequently, when it comes to the darkness of my life, I have had to confront those dimly lit places with the light of that fundamental truth. It has often led me to think about and talk about things that are not so easy to address, particularly when I know people have less than positive sentiments about these things. I felt this way regarding my faith, identity, and sexuality, and have usually addressed these things within the safety and privacy of my inner circles.
As I said in my very first post, it is not enough to pray, write, and talk about things behind closed doors in the comfort of safe spaces. It is just not enough when I know there is more. There is so much more. There is so much more for me to say when I have moved past the darkness of my own shame, and I know with absolute certainty that the light is so much better, that some of the brightest light has emerged from some of my darkest days.
Some folks seem confused or bothered that I am not embarrassed and bound into silence. Perhaps, they are so quietly trapped by their own shame, they project their own shame onto me, as if my own was insufficient to handle. I don’t know.
What I do know is this– I figure if I am really in the light, I have no reason to hide in darkness, no need to keep quiet when I know who and whose I am. And I just refuse to receive any more shame from anyone else.
Let me be clear. Let the record show that I’m not trying to be overbearingly vulnerable and just let it all hang out nor am I trying to start any drama. I’m certainly not proud of all of my life; I have made plenty of mistakes and will make more along the way. I’m not making excuses or justifications; I’m just saying that there is no way to talk about the light without the darkness. I know I’m not perfect, and I’m dealing with that ongoing reality.
With everything as it is, I deal with my imperfections by following Jesus and holding onto who He says I am. In the light of that truth, neither fear nor shame can persist because all is known and love endures unconditionally and eternally. And as I embrace that, the power of that love supplies me with grace to hope for things beyond myself, to believe and experience that change is certainly possible.
I have learned that I am a child of the Most High God which means I am His and He is mine, and that makes me valuable and worthy. And as I live life one day at a time, I see that same kind of value and worth in others, and it fills me full of love, even when people do all kinds of wrong they don’t even realize. That’s what I have in the light, and no one will push me back in the darkness. And I mean no one. That’s just not an option anymore.
At this moment, my hope is that I can be seen in the light, seen as He sees me and loved as He loves me. In a lot of ways, that’s all I have ever really wanted.
Love Love Love,