Finding Hope on a Dark Night

Finding Hope on a Dark Night
By: Lisa Templeton, Ph.D.
     When the world seems like it is crumbling down all around you, there appears to be no light in sight.  When we are in a dark cave, we can barely see what steps to next take.  Yet somehow, with continued patience and resilience, a spark appears from within the cave to shine light on the path of gems that was there all along.  What is this spark?  How can we find it in a dark night?
     Opening up our perspective sparks much light.  When we are lost and cannot find our way, it is our perspective that lays a path for how we move forward.  With faith and trust in the spark of light within the core of our being, we might not feel as though we are wondering lost.   Author, J.R. Tolkien once stated that, “Not all who wander are lost.”  We may wonder away from ourselves for a time, but we are never lost.  With a shift in our perspective, a spark of light can appear out of nowhere.
     Widening our perspective generates the most light.  When we begin to look into our lives from a larger, expanded viewpoint, we can see the bigger picture and understand how so many others are also in a dark night and are looking for a spark.  We inspire each other and spark light in a dance of balance and harmony with all life around us.  We can guide ourselves and each other away from total darkness.
     Hope lights us up with inspiration and passion.  When we consider the people we love, the beauty of the planet, and other forms of inspiration, we can uplift ourselves, if only for a brief time.  There is a difference between distracting ourselves from our darkness and completely covering up our pain.  Take some time away from the dark, if you can, to focus on gratitude.  Conversely, widen your perspective and take moments to notice the dark night and what it might be teaching you.  Learn to tolerate the difficult times with the help of light.
     Everything is always temporary and will inevitably end – even the darkest night, even the most joyful experience.  We are constantly shifting and moving with the tides of light and dark in our lives.  The lighter the light shines out, the darker the shadow of darkness.  Yet, how can we appreciate the light without the darkness?  We are constantly moving in and out of positive and negative.  We need balance and harmony between each to spark a light in the night.
     Author Elie Wiesel stated, “Just as a man cannot live without dreams, he cannot live without hope.  If dreams reflect the past, hope summons the future.”  Without hope, we cannot renew and since the Universe is in constant renewal, we need renewal to begin again.  Start now by nurturing the hope you feel about yourself and others, about humanity, about the world, and the possibilities for the future.  Name the change you wish to see in the world and live it.
     Meet with others who spark a light within, do something that inspires you, allow yourself to feel good emotions when they come and watch them pass.   Tend to your spark within and keep it lit for others to light from as needed.  Maybe you offer a smile to another, hold the door for someone or offer aid to a person in need. 
     This light is ultimately love and it lives in the present moment.  Stay in the present moment.   Remember the bigger context of people’s behaviors and reactions and keep offering love and compassion for yourselves and each other.  Stay patient as things may not change overnight, but your whole world changes when your perspective does.  Spark your light with love and let your love light shine through the dark night!