When I decided to hang my LightWorker shingle, offering spiritual counseling, I thought that I’d be guiding people out of boring jobs, dead end marriages and unhealthy lifestyles toward mission, calling and purpose.
And I do that, lots of that. Yet, the longer I hold open my office door, the more clients are showing up to talk about darkness.
Maybe it’s just the times in which we live. Maybe, as I gain more experience, I am more able – and more willing – to invite those stories to emerge.
I don’t know. I may never know. But I do know this: my clients beautiful and terrible stories – of abuse, neglect and abandonment – have stood my hair on end. They have also broken open my heart.
In a TED Talk so powerfully resonant that it has, as of this writing, almost 9 million views, Story Researcher Brene Brown observes, “ When you ask people about love, they tell you about heartbreak. When you ask people about belonging, they’ll tell you their most excruciating experiences of being excluded. And when you ask people about connection, she said, they stories they tell are about disconnection.
It was like that for me, too. When I invited people to talk about angels and miracles, they brought me stories of struggle and suffering. When I led a forum on joy, they wanted to talk about heartache.
I offered a safe space, they poured into it terror, worry and pain. And there, in the cauldron of community, with their willingness to tell the truth about all the ways the world had let them down, my clients showed me what it really means to be a LightWorker.
Contrary to popular belief, a LightWorker’s ‘job’ is not floating on a cloud of positive affirmations tossing glitter and rainbows into the world.
A LightWorker’s job is to hold the space for light and for love in the world no matter what.
It’s that no matter what that complicates things. It’s easy to hold onto light in the crystal cocoon of a workshop. It’s another thing entirely to stand face-to-face with darkness, armed only with a heart burning with love. Because even though I am absolutely certain that this world is a sea of miracles, I am now, also, acutely aware of suffering.
How can I hold these seeming opposites – this shadow that I hate and this light that I love – in the same story, the same world?
I watch them weave into and out of one another. I notice how they move, how they interact. I study them.
What do these polarities have to show us?
- These two sides of the same coin
- These two faces of one god
- This right and this wrong
- This day and this night
If it really is true that ‘all is one’ (a foundational teaching of LightWorker school) what are we to make of this darkness? If we can’t cast evil and suffering out of Paradise (because there is no separation), what then, is it for?
The more I study these things, these shadows, the more I realize what is really calling to me: faith. Faith in the world, in myself, in the light. Faith in the nature of things – faith in balance and wholeness and the tender kindness of the human heart.
In the East, they have a different name for LightWorkers and it’s not nearly as easy to get the certification.
There, LightWorkers are known as Boddhisattva and Avalokiteshevara, human beings who incarnate to anchor and radiate light into the world. They do this as a service to the world. They do it because it is who they are.
Radiating light, no matter what.
These spiritual masters have worked (for many lifetimes) to build the clarity and wisdom that it takes to stay present during any situation and maintain their work. It’s not that they don’t suffer or feel empathy for the suffering – they do, intensely. It’s just that they know that suffering is, ultimately, an illusion, a drama, a dance of light and shadow playing out on the stage of life. It’s just that, at the bottom of all things, they see love.
We Western LightWorkers have learned a lot from these masters, and from our own awakening hearts:
I invite you to read this collection of posts and comments from some of the emerging teachers I follow.
For my part, after my wrestling match with these questions, I gave myself a new name. Now, I call myself a Soul Caller. It reminds me what my job is. It reminds me who and what I am.
Here’s a list I wrote to remind myself,
- I am a Soul Caller. I hold the space for love in the world, no matter what.
- I admit that darkness exists in the world, and in me.
- I admit my own complicity with darkness and how, by ignoring it, by pretending it does not exist, I evacuate the space that I am responsible for holding (and for filling with light) thereby, leaving it filled with shadow which leaks out (through me) insinuating itself into the well water of the world.
- I stop pretending this doesn’t frighten me. It does. And that’s good. It makes me wake up. It makes me do my job.
- I form circles - I have always done this. It’s who I am. Inside of these circles, I invite you to talk about your darkness and to witness it as others talk about theirs.
- I envision a media that includes stories of hope, of joy and of beauty in at least equal measure to the dark banquet of murder and violence and fear they are currently serving. If they don’t do it – I do it, producing content of my own and getting it to you.
- I do the work to strengthen my own container - even as I also work to increase my sensitivity. I work to master the very real technologies of energetic protection, clearing and holding space, refusing to float off the planet into fantasies of crystal rainbows.
- I tell the story of courage and the story of love. Because that story is the only real story out there. All the rest is distraction and a perverse sort of addiction/entertainment written and produced by people with good intentions (for the most part) who have no idea of the shadow power of their work.
- I show them the shadow power of their work and how it affects the mood of the collective. I show them that the mood of the collective matters.
And each day, I address this prayer (or something like it) to the light; to the Creator, to the angels and beings of light who work to support and protect this planet and all of life.
I am with you. I stand with you. I turn my gaze away from fear and anchor it on the helpers, the healers, the protectors – those who rush in when others rush away. Strengthen and protect their brave hearts. Hold them in your light. Give them strength as their courage strengthens me/us.
I anchor my gaze on the helpers by looking for them – by seeking out and retelling their stories.
I offer a prayer of support for the world.
When tragedy strikes, as it has far too many times in recent months, I add this: Angels, we add our prayers to the beam of prayer-light being focused upon the cities of Boston (of Sandy Hook, of Staten Island and the Jersey Shore, of Japan, of the Gulf of Mexico… wherever people are suffering.
Encircle them with protection and healing.
May all beings know peace.
May all beings know happiness.
May all beings know forgiveness.
May all beings know freedom.
May all beings know love.