By: Amanda Kasper, Regular Contributor
Image from kieraroxanne.tumblr.com
I believe that embracing my light does not mean ignoring my dark.
Have you ever been moved to tears by a complete stranger, by a movie or a blog post or an individual with such a story or such a message that tears have formed in your eyes and empathy has begun to spill over in your heart?
As of late, I have been reading and re-reading and finding solace in individuals through To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA), people who have found their way out of the darkness, who have learned to navigate the darkness alone, who have begun their journey’s of hope and healing.
This video, a Tedx Talk done by an incredibly wise young adult named Kevin Breel, changed me. And right in the nick of time:
“See, some people might fear girls not liking them back. Some people might fear sharks. Some people might fear death. But for me, for a large part of my life, I feared myself. I feared my truth, I feared my honesty, I feared my vulnerability. And that fear made me feel like I was forced into a corner, and there was only one way out. We need to speak up and shatter the silence. We need to be the ones who are brave for what we believe in.”
In truth, I think there are a lot of people in this world that could benefit in some way from hearing or seeing or understanding my dark, relating to their dark, and the bigger notion that no matter where they are, they are not, and never will be alone.
I say this full well knowing that it’s terrifying to admit, to share, to bring other people into your darkness; but I honestly believe that without them, we may get stuck for far too long, missing the chance to honor our light, missing the chance to live our lives out loud.
Have you gotten honest with your feelings? Have you sat down to honor your darkness, to realize the amazing strength you must have to still be standing despite the things you've faced? Have you shared these pieces of your life with the ones who love you?
I stand here today and urge you to do so. Your strength has been created by your weaknesses, your darkness has begun to create pockets of light. Be proud of your light. But honor your darkness too. It's part of what made you who you are, and from where I stand, who you are is pretty incredible.
About Amanda: Amanda Brooke is a writer, reader, quote lover, CASA advocate, and non-profit believer; seeking space as a patient advocate, public health guru, lifelong learner, passionate lover, and irreplaceable friend. Amanda tweets at @AKasper513, and blogs over at Below The Radar, a community she co-founded to create “the opposite of loneliness” for chronic pain and illness warriors, fighters and survivors.