Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Light-hearted and Oily-footed

It's been a while.

For many reasons -- and many weeks -- I have been the opposite of light-hearted. I have been in amble company. Frankly, this world has a lot of problems. Millions of people have serious, life-altering employment challenges right now. Hundreds of thousands are facing life-threatening health issues. Our country has a really messy, really enormous, environmental nightmare growing by the day on our shores. My problems, the problems of the ill and the unemployed, the problems in the gulf; have no easy solutions. All we can be assured of, as Churchill solemnly promised the British people at the dawn of World War II, is grinding effort, selfless sacrifice, a long, grueling road to victory. Is that any reason to believe that brighter days are ahead? Is it possible to be “light of heart?”

Winston Churchill thought so. Britain was facing the Nazi war machine almost single-handedly when he made his famous....“blood,toil, tears and sweat” speech . He was resolute and confident in the face of overwhelming odds. At the time he may have had no other reason to see light ahead, except that he chose to believe it. Perhaps this should hearten the millions of pensioners who's retirement accounts are invested in British Petroleum. As angry as millions of us are at BP right now, I hope that the mess is a result of an isolated operational failure and not a systemic cost-cutting policy by a respected company.

How do you deal with your challenges? Do you knuckle under or stand and face them? Are you certain of failure or sure of victory? Do you speak in words of gloom and doom, or pour light, confidence and resoluteness into the crisis es you face?

Consider for a minute – the meaning of light-hearted? Websters defines light hearted as being “free from care, gay, cheerful.” I don't think that that is all there is too it. Just as definitions of other words have morphed in past years, I think of light-hearted as choosing to keep your heart filled with light. In our society, to be seen as “light-hearted” is often a choice not to be taken seriously. Is there a difference between not taking a situation seriously or consciously choosing to be “light-of-heart”?

Thoreau thought so. He said: “Let nothing come between you and the light...”

Perhaps it is precisely that: to understand the dire nature of a situation or a condition and choose to cast your light; confident that effort and fate and possibility, and prayer if you are inclined, will come together; making all things work together for good.

This blog was created to celebrate the light of possibility and hope and to pass it along. So in a strictly literal sense, you could say that every one of these blog entries is light-hearted. But if you read this blog regularly, you know that would be simplistic. You know that may of the posts are about serious things. That I have dealt with grief and loss and surrender; with hopelessness and fear, with change and identity and ultimately, with what it means to live an authentic, light-filled life.

Which brings me to this thought. How to be a soul, a being, who is quite literally – filled with light. Each of us must find our own way. I leave you to ponder Thoreau's question: “With all your science can you tell how it is, and whence it is that light comes into the soul?”