Rekindling the light
April 24, 2012 by
Categories: Human, Relationships

“Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light.” — Albert Schweitzer

I came across this quotation on the blog of Brené Brown, a leading researcher on the topics of shame, vulnerability, courage, and whole-heartedness. Although these topics appear separate, they are interrelated in such a deep way.

Rather than focusing on the deep roots of shame and vulnerability, I want to take a minute to build on Kristyn Blackburn’s post on the power of human connection. When you are at your absolute lowest, it is often those around you that can help breathe the life back into you, who get the internal flame burning again.  I am no exception.

Sometimes the actions are unconscious, simply an act of friendship or kind words. Many people can have a powerful impact on you, without ever realizing it. Regardless of the intention, the people around me are what have helped me start opening up again.

Uncomfortable feelings, such as depression, shame, disgust, disappointment, and fear, often encourage us to keep to ourselves. We refuse to share these feelings with anyone, in an attempt to protect ourselves. However, opening up to others, or at least connecting with others, can have a powerful impact on you.

Although opening up is not easy to do, I have recognized the incredible value it can have on my well-being.  I want to express gratitude to the people in my life who have helped to relight my own internal flame.

To the girls at Book Club, who gave me a night of yummy food and incredible laughter. 

To the friends at a quick Saturday night get-together, sharing funny and touching stories over a few drinks.

To the professors who have been in my corner, especially when the concern was far from academic.

To the clients who open up, showing me what real vulnerability looks like.

To the husband who listens every time he’s needed, even when his day has been just as bad.

To the friend who comes over just in time to plop in the grass with tears, who makes me feel just as needed.

All of these people deserve a never-ending sonnet of gratitude. Our lives are filled with small moments that bring the much-needed flame of life. It can be helpful not only to notice those moments but also to put yourself in a position to allow them to happen. 

During the low moments, talk to someone: a friend, a family member,  a therapist, a stranger, a neighbor.

Remember to watch for the moments when you can share an experience with another person. They can deal quite the positive punch, a lighter to your flame.

Who have been the people in your life that have helped rekindle your light?

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