Awakening: What a LightWorker can (and can not) do about Darkness
All over the world, people are awakening and reaching for light. Still, there are days when it seems that there has never been more suffering.
When I decided to hang my LightWorker shingle in the window of the world, I thought I’d be guiding people out of boring jobs, dead end marriages, and unhealthy lifestyles. I thought I’d be leading them across the bridge – out of a world of struggle and suffering into a world of light.
The awakening, as it turned out, would be my own. For the longer I held open the door of my Lightworker office, the more clients appeared to teach me about darkness. Their beautiful and terrible stories – of abuse, neglect, and abandonment – stood my hair on end. They broke my heart. They also broke my heart open.
As Brene Brown discovered (and discussed in her TED Talk), “ 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. When you ask people about connection, she said, the stories they tell are about disconnection.
This is how it is in Lightworker land.
I invited people to talk about angels and miracles and they brought me stories of cruelty and suffering. I led a forum on joy and they wanted to talk about heartache.
When I offered 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.
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 – 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 confused, confounded and shattered by the cruelty and violence and ice-cold terrorism of some people.
And I had to get used to that. I had to be able to stand face-to-face with darkness and hold onto my own connection with light. This took time. I had to do my own work.
It was my clients who showed me the real nature of this work – that it was never my job to lead or guide (or even, heal) anyone. My job was to hold my heart open – even as I witnessed my clients’ suffering; to honor their experience and listen to their stories, no matter how terrible, without being pulled into darkness myself.
To accomplish this, I had my own darkness to integrate. I had to become aware of the hooks that made it hard for me to be intimate, the terrors that made me vulnerable to manipulation, the things I didn’t like about myself, which I was desperately trying to hide. All of this and more – I’m still learning. We all are. This is the nature of being human – and being a Lightworker doesn’t exempt us from that.
When I was just beginning, I starting out: I am here to draw love into form – into action. I am here to ground love to the earth – wherever I am, no matter what is emerging before me. Once I understood this, I knew: Everything that I see is love emerging – and as love emerges, it calls love to emerge through me.
We live in a world which, quantum physics tells us, is literally built out of light. Yet, each time a human heart gives up on love (which happens when we believe that we (or anyone else) are separate from love) a heart-sized portion of love goes into darkness.
It’s as if that heart has donated – or invested – its priceless real estate (its space in the world) into shadow. An investment which adds up – as other people abandon their hearts and invest in darkness, too. Anything can work through an abandoned heart. Which is how we start hurting each other – and hurting the world.
A Lightworker’s job is to call these investments back from the shadows- just as shamans and wisdom keepers have been doing for centuries – so that they can be reinvested (added back into) the world of love.
A Lightworker’s job is to re-occupy the heart of the world with love – and light.
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?
At the most essential level, the lesson shadow brings is faith. Faith in the world and in ourselves and in the light. Faith in the nature of things – faith in balance and wholeness and the tender kindness of the human heart.