“I wanna live,
I wanna give
I’ve been a miner for a heart of gold.
It’s these expressions I never give
That keep me searching
for a heart of gold.
And I’m getting old.”
~Neil Young, 1971
A long time ago, I asked myself, What kind of life do I want to live?
My answers have changed, evolved. Sometimes they have even fallen silent in depression or self-loathing.
But, always, they have come back to a core truth:
I want to live a life of service. I want to be a light in a dark place. I want to be a good friend, a loving person, and a smiling face to a stranger.
Everyday, we walk through a place that is thick with doubt, pain, suffering, and malice. We encounter destruction, abuse, ignorance, and want.
Becoming a tiny flame in the darkness may seem like a monumental task. I find I may struggle with identity, with finding stability, or with my own demons, but there is always in my heart a desire to bring light to those around me. It’s then I understand that it’s not monumental at all. It’s as easy as sharing a smile, hugging a friend, listening, staying open-hearted, and being present.
Also remembering that everyone carries invisible pains that we know nothing about. Treating everyone with respect and dignity allows us to open our hearts wider, and become more understand of those hidden places in someone else.
Last night, I spoke to a friend who was grieving the end of a relationship. We are an ocean apart, and I could not share a physical moment with her. But, instead, I listened, spoke honestly and from my heart, and I was present in her pain. It was as close to a hug as I could get. Later, as we spoke our farewells, she told me I had a heart of gold.
I could think of no higher compliment.
This afternoon, as I sat and prayed quietly by the Peace Pagoda in Grafton, NY, I reflected on the last time I sat on that very rock. I had been asking for guidance, trying to understand the emptiness I had inside of me.
Today, the answer was as clear as the water reflecting the sky; I had been emptied to allow the dark places to be filled with light. A light to share. I hope to do this everyday with all that I am.
“There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
*Top Photo by Author
*Bottom Photo by Roseanne Amorose
(Please do not copy without permission. Thank you.)
Share the LOVE, kind readers! Tell me your tales of light!