The dictionary defines a lighthouse as a structure with a powerful light that gives a continuous or intermittent signal to navigators; a beacon. The lighthouse can signal danger or provide a safe harbor for seafarers. While the lighthouse is a timeless symbol of confidence, strength and direction it is also something more personal. It symbolizes illumination, comfort and resilience from within.
“A lighthouse is not interested in who gets its light. It just gives it without thinking. Giving light is its nature.” –Mehmet Murat ildan
I recently volunteered to teach a creative writing class with my local chapter of the Boys and Girls Club of America. It was a 5 week course and it had never been offered before. My class was small and made up of middle school age kids. As it turned out the class was all girls but they were as diverse as you could get. The most amazing thing about this particular group was that no matter what their background seemed to be outside of one another their concerns and issues were the same.
What started out as an outline to help them think more out of the box in terms of creating a story turned into a lesson about communication and how out of the box we can get when we try to reach the people we most want to communicate with.
We all agreed that fiction is a great way to get a point across and communicate an idea without naming names or offending anyone but what they discovered through just open discussion and some guided questions from me was that communicating could take place through many different mediums such as puppet making, pictures only story- telling, facial expressions, picture poetry, charades, etc.
My personal triumph from these short 5 weeks came when I saw how each one of the girls discovered their own special gift for how they communicated their creativity and each of them during the course of the 5 weeks inspired one another to expand their own way of reaching out and communicating with one another. I don’t think they all realized just how their inner light shined through to one another but I saw it as plain and bright as the sun. So the question I was left with was, how can each of us be a beacon, a light house to one another and offer illumination and comfort and resilience to express the idea that it is okay to be ourselves?
In order to become the light for someone to navigate by these characteristics might be helpful:
1- Don’t be self-absorbed. Show interest in other people, listen intently to what they have to share and say. Make them the focus of your attention.
2- Don’t be vain. True beauty comes from inside of you. Your beauty lives in your heart, your soul, your hugs, and your sincerity. Spend time learning about what makes you, you, from the inside out, not from the outside in.
3- Don’t compete. Just be still. Celebrate those people in your life that achieve success. Let them have their time in the spot light. Help them when you can but illuminate in their glow of overcoming their fears and obstacles.
4- Don’t over-estimate your self-worth. It’s not always necessary to be included in every little thing that your friends do. Each of us has our own interests and hobbies. Find and support those friends that share in many of your own interests and hobbies and get over it when other friends go without you. It’s not personal and you haven’t lost a friendship.
5- Don’t always lead. Sometimes it is a good thing to let other people take the reins for a while. Try to maintain within yourself a level playing field. Everyone is important and everyone matters. Let go of control and just be.
6- Don’t lie. Always be honest and true to your integrity and about who you are.
7- Don’t offend. It’s okay to disagree from time to time but it is never okay to be rude or embarrassing to or with your friends. It attracts negative attention for everyone and it is a quick way to lose what you cherish most, friendships, camaraderie, and connection.
8- Don’t be late. Show up when you say you will, call ahead if you know you are running late, show courtesy as often as possible simply because you would want that same respect. Be someone that others can depend on.
9- Don’t be a Debbie Downer. Negativity is not attractive. Try practising gratitude in the moments when you feel a negative wave coming up. What are you grateful for right this minute? Distract yourself from the negative thoughts and find the good in the moment. A really great quote goes like this: Not every day is good but there is good in every day.
10- Don’t hold back. Go in for the hug. Say “I love you”. Look that friend or special someone directly in the eyes when you speak to them. Be all in with your generosity and kindness and compassion. Who cares if anyone else is looking? All they are feeling as they look on is a bit of shame for not being able to be that open and honest and free. Who on this planet wouldn’t like a real, genuine bear hug?
“When we let ourselves shine, we eclipse the realms of ordinary. This light, this spiritual life-force, effortlessly radiates within us and to those around us, illuminating the potential of our soul’s yearning, which is, in essence, the highest version of ourselves.” – LaShaun Middlebrooks Collier
Call to Action
How do you give of your inner light naturally?
If you could choose just one item from the lighthouse list above, which item would you choose to work on first? Why is that one so important?
What else can you add to this list? Let’s keep it glowing……