This time last year in yoga class, we bowed to 2015. On our knees, we literally bowed. It was so powerful and real to make this physical gesture to the year behind us. We were bowing to something bigger than ourselves, to something we could not control. The year was over, and its greatness was something to not only acknowledge but BOW to.
Each day this week on Facebook, I have been posting something bowing to the light 2016 has brought to my life. I don’t know if this was the most popular thing to do, because I have seen a lot of complaints about 2016 on social media.
So this made me really reflect, and what I realized was that with every Facebook post I made honoring the light of 2016, there was some darkness to be acknowledged as well.
One post was about a trip to Miami Beach with my niece, which will go down in history as one of the most special times in my life. Reflecting on this trip, I realized the darkness that accompanied it was the Orlando, Florida shootings that happened the day before we left.
Another one of my posts was a picture of a trip to see Paul McCartney in Milwaukee. It was a wonderful time, and my husband and I made so many beautiful friends. And then I realized the darkness the accompanied this trip was the Dallas shootings that happened the morning of that concert.
There was much darkness in 2016. There was gun violence, racial injustice, political havoc, numerous celebrity deaths. The list goes on and on.
Personally, when I look back on my writings from 2016, I wrote some about the light in my life. I had so much for which to be grateful during this year. My husband made so much possible for me, and to him I owe my world.
We went to Portland, Miami, Milwaukee, Las Vegas, Saint Louis, and Sacramento. I have never had the opportunity to travel so much. Today I am so grateful for all the new friends I made, for all my old friends, and my loving family. I am thankful to God and The Universe for always having my back. Many of these things I wrote about during the year.
But when I truly reflect on my total unpublished writings of 2016, I wrote about a lot of darkness too. I wrote about my demons, and how they are actually hunting me down. I am not saying this lightly. It is my truth.
We all have demons hunting us down. Marianne Williamson says if you do not fill your house with light, the darkness will get in. This means if you do not proactively seek the light (love, positivity, hope, inspiration), darkness will set in (depression, cynicism, negativity, hate).
A Course in Miracles talks about positive denial. This means that, as spiritual seekers, we do not deny the darkness of the world. We deny its ultimate power over us.
And wow, isn’t that the truth? The darkness has only as much power as you give it. The light ultimately will prevail. I have never had any darkness in my life that I have not seen return into “the nothingness from which it came.” (A Course in Miracles)
I recently read something my 17-year-old niece wrote for school about her mom committing suicide when she was seven years old. And believe it or not, what my niece wrote about this experience was not all negative. She wrote about it as an experience, not a positive or negative one, but more as an experience that gave her strength.
So when I write about the opposing forces of light and darkness, I think of my niece. She is such a force of light that shined right on through the darkness that was delivered to her at such a young age. Nothing could have stopped that beautiful light.
I believe in radical forgiveness. I believe we are here on this earth for a reason, and that reason is to forgive each other on a deep level as we realize we are all one. This means sometimes having the strength to forgive things we do not understand.
I made a conscious effort to seek the light in 2016, and that light returned to me a thousand times. I still acknowledge the darkness, because it is still there. There are obviously many changes that need to be made in the world. But I know that the meek shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). I know there is nothing that my holiness cannot do (A Course in Miracles). And I know that in God’s strength I trust (A Course in Miracles).
And that is why I am happy. That is why I am strong. That is why I am ready for 2017. Because there is nothing I cannot do. The same is true for everyone else.
So yes, I want to bow to the light AND the darkness that was 2016. I loved it all. It made me strong. It made me beautiful. It gave me wings. It gave me a backbone. It made me cry. It made me fly.
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