Living in the Light
By Bernadette A. Moyer
"If we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin." JOHN 1:7
Living in the light is about as close to living with God’s intentions as any other way while here on Earth. God didn’t create us to hide who we are to deny what we do and for us to live less than an authentic life. We need to own who we are, the good and the bad. Being authentic is the best way and the easiest way to attract others who are authentic, real and honest.
If we aren’t feeling embraced by someone else is that because of us or because of them? When we do things that we know are not right for us, nor are they in keeping with God’s will, we automatically assume a darker place for ourselves. We may think we have cheated someone else but we have cheated ourselves. Living in denial and living a lie does not allow the light of life to shine upon us.
I don’t think there is anything God-blessed with living in denial, deceit, dishonesty or in the dark. God’s wants us to be true to ourselves, not someone else’s ideal of what and who we should become.
On June 30, 2013 my friends are getting married and they are thrilled. They are in love and have been in a committed relationship for over 14 years now. Up until January of this year, they had no legal right to become married in our state. They are a same sex couple. Years ago one partner in this couple was quite successful with a big career, big bank account and his own property. He was also on the verge of suicide. Not because of anything he did but rather because of who he is and who he always was, he is a gay man. He knew that he would not be accepted. He lived in denial and then in deceit and dishonesty, knowing or sensing that his mother and this society would not embrace him.
This story makes me sad and it makes me reflect. What would it feel like to be disowned or disliked because of things we have no control over, our sexual orientation, or the color of our skin or our gender. Yet many people in society feel that they are not embraced because of these things. God created all of us, not just some of us.
“Live a life of love.” EPHESIANS 5:2 Love doesn’t live in the darkness or in denial or in deceit. It lives in the light. “The Lord looks at the heart.” SAMUEL 16:7
What does our society do to victims; little kids that are sexually abused through no fault of their own. They know full well that they have been harmed and hurt, yet we want it to be secret and unspoken. As if to speak of it would make it what, more real or less real.
It reminds me of the movie, The Prince of Tides, this family was so broken. They were broken because they were victimized and in that victimization they lived in denial. Denial that showed itself in a variety of negative and hurtful ways, one family member attempted multiple suicide attempts. The victimization lived on long after the acts of abuse.
In the darkness of denial, it was covered up and buried only to continue to resurface. These things don’t just go away all by themselves. How can we ever be happy and healthy if we aren’t true to ourselves and living by embracing life, all of life, even the parts that some may find unattractive.
“You are braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” A.A. Milne
Is there anything good and healthy that grows or gets better in the dark or in denial or by being dishonest or deceitful? Living in the light, uncovering the darkness and dealing with it head on is the only way to become mentally healthy.
How is it that our society thinks less of victims, less of an innocent child who was abused and had absolutely nothing to do with being the target? Or a woman who was raped, she didn’t choose this? We force them to live in the darkness, in dishonesty and denial. Then we wonder why we have such a high population of mental illness.
We would rather see them medicate their pain away with drugs and alcohol rather than own who they are and what they experienced in life. Who could be healthy, happy and free living in denial and in darkness?
Living in the light, living in truth and honesty is the only way to living in peace and in happiness. There is not one thing in life that someone else hasn’t already experienced, not one thing that our spirit can’t overcome. But first we have to acknowledge it, acknowledge our pain and our trauma and be honest.
Pain shared is pain divided. Support groups with people that know your experience and understand your pain because they have experienced the same is the best road to recovery. Enablers are the people that help keep victims in the dark. The ego that says, “I can handle this, I don’t need any help.”
My hero’s in life are always the ones that took their upset and their trauma, turned it around and used it to first help themselves and then go on to help others. Own your stuff, embrace your life experiences, learn from them all, share them and grow, heal and love.
How many times have we heard that “the cover up is worse than the crime” I would be willing to bet that when it comes to being mentally healthy, the very same concept of how bad covering up can be, and how it literally derails any attempts at wellness.
“What will you do with yourself? Many men and women are still in darkness, trying to figure out the meaning and purpose of life. But no matter what you try to do with yourself -- whether you deny it, obliterate it, annihilate it, accept it or express it – believe me, it is still alive and kicking.” K. P. Yohannan, Living in the Light of Eternity
In the end, it is your stories, all of it, yours alone, embrace them all because at the very end of life, that is all you really have, your own unique life story. I don’t think that lies, deceit and the dishonesty of darkness and things that are not authentic and real count.
No matter what dark clouds we have known in our lifetime, healthy and meaningful living happens in the light …