When I was little, I was scared of the dark. I slept with a dimmed lamp shining in my room, and even still, I would turn off the overhead light, run and launch myself into bed so that the monsters underneath couldn't swipe me down. I was sure they were there. It was like I could hear them breathing.
I grew up and forgot about the monsters.
Years later, my two-year-old daughter called to me from her darkened room after being tucked into bed. "Mom!"
When I peeked in, she was frozen - covers up to her chin. "There's a monster under my bed!"
We've all been there, and the protocol is usually the same. It's probably the same system my parents worked through when I called to them in the night.
First, I said there's no such thing as monsters.
Second, I turned on the light.
Third, I checked under the bed.
Just as I was settling in to sit with her until she fell asleep, she turned the tables.
"I think you didn't see it under there, because it's under your bed now."
And wouldn't you believe I FELT the monster too. In that moment, I KNEW if I went into my room and looked under the bed, his eyes would be glowing in the darkness underneath. Staring. Waiting. Very real and dangerous.
Fear is contagious.
I fell asleep in my daughter's room that evening. Waking to go to my bed late at night, it was all I could do not to run and jump beyond that monster's reach.
The sun rose the next morning and those creepy feelings of nighttime nasties hidden in the shadows didn't seem to follow into the day. Nor the next. But sometimes, in the small hours, I wonder how can thousands of years of children KNOWING there are monsters under their beds at night be wrong?
Are the monsters really there?
Fear grows best in shadowy spaces. Just as a chair in the corner of a dark room may look like a hulking, hungry wolf, a worry set loose in a dark, sleepless night can take on a life of its own. If you shine a little light, clear perspective can return.
We are all living through what we hope will be the end of a long dark, Covid tunnel. We can see the light shining on the other side, the possibility of opening back up to gathering with friends and family without restriction seems possible, though it is impossible to say exactly when we will live that possibility. Still we can see it - the light in the distance has made that so.
Much has changed during this time, and fear has played a large roll in many people's days and nights.
In some ways, that light represents hope, but in many other ways it also lights up where we've been so that we can finally take a good look around the darkened areas we've been muddling through to get our bearings.
What this world needs right now is more light so we can begin to see things clearly. What have we learned? Where do we go from here? What do we take with us into this new potentiality and what do we choose to leave behind?
There is the light of hope up ahead, but we can add more light, more clarity if we each turn on our own lights.
Everything on this planet has a certain frequency - a signature vibration. Emotions have frequency too. This is how you are able to FEEL what you are feeling. The emotion resonates in your body. It actually resonates into your surroundings too. This is why you can FEEL when somebody else is sad or how a joyful mood can be infectious.
Fear is one of the lowest vibrations humans can feel. That's not to say it is bad. Fear can save your life in truly dangerous situations, but living in fear for an extended period of time can keep you stuck in a rut of fear. Fear attracts more fear and suddenly you are operating from that lower state. It spreads from person to person, much like a virus. If enough people are afraid, it's dificult to feel anything else. You may have very little to fear, but if enough people around you tune into that vibration, you will find yourself up at night wondering and worrying about scary things. You are stuck in that dark room with an underbed full of vicious monsters.
If you were to place emotions on a chart numbered one to ten, fear would be a one. The antidote to fear, the opposite, might seem like it would be courage. But the opposite on the Richter scale of emotions, the ten, would be LOVE.
LOVE is among the highest vibrational feelings we as humans can experience.
How do you turn on your light? You choose LOVE over FEAR. If the monsters in the dark are keeping you up at night, focus on love. To do this, you have to make the conscious decision to turn away from fear.
I CHOOSE LOVE.
When you are asked to make a decision about something that scares you, say it quietly to yourself.
I CHOOSE LOVE.
What we need to get through this dark time is more LOVE. That is always the answer. It begins with you loving yourself. That means accepting and loving the dark, shadowy parts of yourself. If you feel lonely, or you feel angry or broken or hurt or whatever it that you struggle to accept about you or your situation, LOVE that part of yourself. Make friends with it. Shine light on those shadowy aspect, the places where fear can take root, and you can begin to realize that love IS an option.
Our social circles did shrink during Covid, but that allows for us to learn how to use our energy to love and support one another first in our families and then in our own social bubbles. Love will make each one of us and the people closest to us strong and promote high vibrations that can ripple out into our communities, It starts with each one of us.
Just as FEAR is contagious, so is LOVE.
What if the next pandemic is one of LOVE!!!
Turn on your light. Chances are you are that light for somebody else. Show them it is possible. Choose LOVE over FEAR.
When we are all shiny and bright, we can sleep in the dark and the monsters won't come. They can't exist in the presence of so much light.
Or, we can invite the monsters in. We can make friends with them and know we are safe in our light, wrapped in love.
That's why our children call to us in the night. They call out the words they know for Love. "Mom!" "Dad!"
And we come running, shine the light they need, kiss them on the head and say, "Goodnight. I love you."
That's the protection they need.
Our presence and LOVE lights the nightlight in the hearts of our children.
We can each be a Light in this world. It is as simple as choosing LOVE over FEAR. It's as rigorous as doing this time and time again.
Fear can become a habit, so it is as if you are breaking any other bad habit. It begins with the awareness that you want to find another way. LOVE becomes a practice. It is always and option and it is something you CHOOSE every time.
The antidote to Fear is Love. It truly is. It always has been.
Don't believe me. Choose LOVE. Try it today. Try it now. Say it to yourself, "I CHOOSE LOVE." Let that be your mantra. Let it be your new way of BEing. Love is your new operating system. Let that light you up.
Love turns shadows into superpowers. Love transforms monsters into friends - maybe even guardians.
Shine your light. We need your light. It's the only way to move forward toward Hope.
I CHOOSE LOVE!