First time I’d ever heard this ancient Chinese proverb was last night. One of those lines you stumble across & it just grabs you – makes you think intensely & realize, wow, so much wisdom in it.
Life is going to have periods of darkness. That’s what being a human entails, sadly. The length & depths of the darkness are different for each of us…but it’s why we say everyone’s MH is impacted at some point in their lives.
We don’t get to choose when the darkness happens nor how often. Do we get to choose when loved ones pass? When someone takes advantage of us, or we are the target of mistreatment?
There’s no question we are often victims OF things happening TO us…but the question is – what do we have control over? Do we stay as victims?
That’s where as a society, I think campaign messaging, our specific words, can be used in such a productive way. There is so much I see – especially on social media to the tune of: “I have this…you don’t understand, you need to learn what it’s like & treat me/us better.”
Then there are lines like: “it’s ok not to be ok”…which is true, but they’re most often written without any timeline: “it’s ok not to be ok, sometimes.”
As people who suffer (& again it’s all of us, just to varying degrees at varying times), we have a choice to – light a candle, or curse the darkness we are in & even blame others for not lighting their own candles for us.
Im not gonna lie to you. Sometimes the candle we have available to us has a huge wick & lots of wax, & can burn bright…& sometimes it’s just big enough to see the slightest bit of light in our rooms.
But here’s the thing – if all we do is curse the darkness, we stay in the darkness longer.
We don’t choose when & how dark the room gets, but we can choose how to handle the darkness.