I’ve wallowed in the darkness lately. I’ve felt the pain of ignorance and hate, I’ve felt the pain of the mothers whose babies were stolen from their arms, I’ve felt the pain of the ripping divide that separates us and our hearts. I don’t regret feeling all of this pain, though. I don’t wish away the sleepless nights that I’ve experienced and the tears I’ve shed for others. It is empathy that connects us, that weaves us in and out of each others’ stories, that helps us remember that we are all part of the human family. But when it all feels like too much, I like to think of the quote by Valarie Kaur: “What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb?”
When the darkness takes its hold on me, I can become paralyzed, angry and afraid. But when I reject the suffocating grasp that this darkness can have one me, I feel the hope and inspiration to step one foot in front of the other, into the light. So here is my declaration: I am committing to not turning away from the darkness because it is too painful or scary, but to stay open and let my body serve as a purification system for what comes in and how it goes out. I will (try to) be a light-seeker, light-bringer, light-maker and do everything that I can to ease the suffering of others while taking care of myself. I will not give up hope, I will not stop moving, I will not be afraid, but I will keep going with my heart open and my head up, into the light. Will you join me?