Bright Light vs Dark Place

15 Apr

Yesterday I heard that Karen S., a woman I had gotten to know in the past few months, had passed away suddenly.

I was shocked and saddened.  Karen was a bright light.  Just talking to her or seeing her made me feel like a better person.  She was present, and empowering.  I keep seeing her beautiful smile in my mind’s eye and can’t believe she is gone.

It reminds me of the phrase, some people are in your life for a lifetime, a season, or a reason.  And, since our friendship was so short, I’m thinking it was for a reason.

I decided that her bright light would serve to ignite mine.  And that I could then ignite other people, preserving her memory and contribution to me.

And so today, I was sharing that with a friend and it felt so right, so good, and so positive.

I was enjoying the great mood.  And, then………A text came in from an agent of mine from work.

“I am looking for other sources of income.”

Immediately, my light went out.  The music in my mind changed from happy (singing in the rain)  to ominous (Jaws).

My posture changed.  I slumped over my computer.  I was tired.  Life sucked.  I  sat in the same chair, but something had changed.  The work I was doing became irrelevant and I wanted to take a nap.  A feeling of hopelessness encompassed my entire body.

Wait, I thought.  What happened to my good mood?  What happened to my lightness and happiness?

I looked at my thoughts.  I had already lost my best agent.  This was the only other good person on my team who could sell.  I would have nobody.  What was I going to do now?  It seemed like I was f—–d.

I stewed in it for a while.  Her text had ignited my thoughts.  But the negative ones.  F–k work and my numbers.  I give up.  I’m all alone.  No one cares, etc.  (That’s why I have no relationship, something’s wrong with me, no wonder I’m up 8 pounds, etc.  All my favorite dark thoughts and personal indictments.)

It’s amazing that one text can take me totally down.  And, I want to give in to it.  I can see how much I want to be right about how life sucks and how I can’t have what I want .  That I’m really just a loser pretending to be ok.  Why would I ACTUALLY want to be right about that?  What am I trying to prove?  It makes no sense, really.

And what really happened?  Someone said X.  And I made it mean my life sucks.  How does that happen?  It is truly incredible.  She may just be in a bad mood.  She might have had a fight with her husband.  I don’t know.   But why should it turn my life to shit?

Good question.

A couple of hours later and I’ve allowed myself a good sulk.  I went through the space of despair, watched my thoughts, and now I feel like I’m on my way back.  I’m a little dimmer, but getting brighter.

And I will get back to what I was doing before – planning my Monday.  Because with or without her, I can do this.  And, disappointed or not, I can still ignite others.  And, sometimes just listening is how to do it.  Or, sharing myself, even if I’m struggling with my own thoughts.

I don’t have to compare myself to some standard of how I should be – happy, perky, high energy – to make a difference with others.  I think I’ve always had it that I needed to get HIGH ENERGY before I could do that.

And what I’ve realized is that my empathy and ability to hear where people are is what can make a difference.  I don’t have to be a loud, peppy cheerleader (although I have been that and it’s fun) to do that.

So, I will still remember Karen and her light, and know that mine might not shine exactly like hers, but it can still shine.  And, in her memory, I will accept myself as I am, just like she did.  She was a great gift to me in the short time I knew her.

Goodbye, my friend.  You will be missed.

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