8 MINUTE READ
“I am an Eternal Flame each day, my light grows brighter.”
This a.m. I was still determining what I would write about. It’s not all that uncommon, yet I still sit down to write because I know it’s incredibly powerful.
For most of my life, the world taught me that to be humble was to be small. The people who raised me taught me to shine brightly and stand up for myself. But, all the while, my caregivers were smothering my light. They were crabs in a barrel that would pull me down anytime my bright light shone. It’s been more than a few years now that I fully recognize shrinking and dimming my light to make others feel comfortable is not the same as being humble nor the way to go for many reasons. As I write this, I’m feeling tears well up.
A metaphor has come to me that I’d like to share. The way I now see myself is through this fairytale-like story.
A light was born on a cold Winter night in January. This light was so bright and pure that it was the answer to what everybody was asking and waiting for. However, encountering this light required the person to come authentically, honestly, and in love. Anyone who came into contact with this light felt so warm and seen, yet unless a person felt worthly of love, this warmth made them uncomfortable.
This light was born to a mother full of shame and hurt. Because of the hurt in her past, the mother wanted to be loved so badly but deep down believed she did not deserve it. So when this light was born to the mother, she could not accept it. Since the mother could not get that this light was a reflection of the inherent goodness, warmth, and love that the mother had inside her, she began to cover it up and dim her baby’s light.
Despite being smothered, poisoned, and abused, the baby’s light still shone brightly. She was happy, and she looked upon everyone with unconditional love. She wasn’t perfect on the outside since her mother was mistreating her. The baby was often covered in rashes or looked exhausted, always crying out because she was in physical pain. Onlookers initially felt the love and the warmth of the light. Although it’s what most people wanted, most could not believe that the light they saw within this infant child was a light they had inside. The rare bunch who truly believed they were the love and light were only allowed a second of this Divine exchange with the child before the mother came over and stole both of their light. She’d say, “Isn’t it just terrible that she is so sick?!” or “We’ve had such a rough time.”. Each time the results were the same for the families, the strangers, and the onlookers. Every time, the people would get distracted from the baby’s light to the mother’s plight, and the light turned to darkness, drama, illness, and sorrow.
Human babies are sponges. Even the brightest light of a baby looks to their caregivers and absorbs what’s around them. So it didn’t take long for this newly-born human to believe what her mother shared with everyone around her. She began to believe the lies that she was sick and difficult and that things were hard.
Many times growing up from baby to toddler, from toddler to little girl, and little girl to a young woman, this light would remember who she really was. she would smile and laugh, and her eyes shone with light showering the world with love and acceptance of All That Is. But again and again, she found the same results from the outside world. Even though the others around her said they loved her and told her she was worthy of love and that she was full of strength, they also told her the opposite through words and actions. The people closest to her that raised her blamed her for everything—resentment and mistreatment grew. Every holiday when the family got together to celebrate, she would look forward to being closer to the people that supposedly loved her, only to find out did they would sneak poison into her food year after year, holiday after holiday. Each time the mother’s response was the same as it was when she was born.
The people who said they loved and cared turned their attention away from the light end towards the sorrowful mother when she said, “Isn’t it just terrible that she is so sick?!” or “We’ve had such a rough time.” And each time, the results were the same. The families, the strangers, and the onlookers would get distracted from the baby’s light to the mother’s plight. So the light turned to darkness, drama, illness, and sorrow each time.
As time went on, this light grew and grew. It never entirely went away inside the human child, now turned adult, but as this light went out into the world, she accepted what she was used to. People always told her she was doing something wrong, blaming her for things out of her control and telling her that she was too sensitive and not enough, all at the same time.
For years, she would be locked away by lovers who said they were the only ones for her and that she would not survive without them. She was treated like Rapunzel and her Brooklyn apartment, followed by a move even further away to the outskirts of the Catskills where no one could find her. Finally breaking away when her keeper said he wanted to move her to a place where she knew no one and where there was only poison to eat and nothing to sustain her light.
After finally escaping, she returned home to the people who raised her. By this time, she had gotten some help, learned new things, and realized that people who mistreated her were “projecting.” These projections have been happening since before she was born. She finally understood that her love, her bright light, and her acceptance of people as they were were not something that most people were comfortable with. Unfortunately, when they were made to be uncomfortable, they lashed out and said things to her – mean things, abusive things, but things they actually thought about themselves. Instead of looking inside at what they didn’t like about themselves, they were threatened by the light. They became jealous of it and turned into cruel, brutal trolls. Misery loves company might as well have been the slogan on each shirt. When she got to her home with the people that raised her, the slogan misery loves company was etched into their bones.
She knew things weren’t going well, yet she still had hope inside. Hope for the people who raised her hope that things would improve for them. One day things got so terrible that she was being mistreated so badly that she escaped again to the outskirts of the Catskills. As she was packing up her car, ready to leave, a family friend caught her in the driveway, and what she said changed her life forever.
“Betsy, I think your mother is jealous of you. It would be best to get yourself straight, make lots of money, become completely independent and never look back. You need to get out of here, and you need to get out fast.”
Jealousy was not something she was completely unfamiliar with. Yet, it never occurred to her that this was something that someone in her biological family would feel, let alone the woman who raised her. But, one quick search on the internet and one potent therapy session later, the truth of her past came crashing down all around her. Well, as the rest of the world’s reality came crashing down, her light began to shine once more. Just like Bridget, the Goddess of the Eternal Flame, she knew that it was her light, not her darkness, that people had hated on her entire life and that suddenly this awareness, but she couldn’t change others. But, she could shine her light and be discerning about who she shared herself and, therefore, her light with.
It wasn’t until many years later that she saw that this light is precious and deserves to be honored like royalty. Although it is, in essence, inside everyone and everyone has equal access to it this light, it is a gift. This light is precious. This light deserves to be honored like royalty. She was born as a royal light-filled soul, and she just didn’t know. Still, everyone around her could see this light. For most of her life, the ones who were jealous did everything they could to take her down. But she knew now that the life she led, although sometimes dark, scary, dangerous, and lonely, created a shatterproof lighthouse whose light shone far into the Galaxy. She was determined to keep this Lighthouse elevated, sacred, protected, and glowing for her and all living things.