It seems to me that much of 2012 was both dark and heavy, on a personal and global scale. Maybe it was the Mayan calendar prediction gone awry. Maybe it was the pain and suffering I felt and/or caused in personal relationships with people I love the most. Maybe it was the tremendous grief I witnessed one of my close friends experience. Maybe it was the oxymoronic disconnecting effect of exponential technology growth. Maybe it was the senseless acts of violence that are becoming disturbingly commonplace.
All this heavy darkness can make one feel burdened and lost. The hopelessness that results from the above list is enough to crush almost any spirit. Almost. But not mine. As an American Studies major, I pay semi-quiet but steady attention to media, art, entertainment, politics, pop culture, trends and technology. What I observe is a group of humans who are losing their human-ness. Distracted by the internet, divided by politics, diluted by the mind scum we call television, desensitized by life-like violence in video games, distorted by fashion magazines, diseased by processed foods, we are becoming exact replicas of the anti-heroic, post-apocalyptic, gun-happy, self-centered, blood-sucking, cannibal-vampire-zombies that Hollywood rubs our faces in. I am so so so guilty of all of this.
But. The silver linings of these dark ominous clouds are time and awareness. Hope is alive as long as I am. And as I pay my therapist to point it out to me, awareness of any problem results in personal accountability and responsibility. My awareness means I am not allowed to sulk in the inevitability of humanity’s demise. My awareness challenges me to take action in hopes of creating a better world. Do I want to live in a dark, heavy place full of dark, heavy people? No! Therefore, I am lighting up 2013 as far as my physical and spiritual body reaches. My light will offer compassion to friends, foes, family and strangers alike. My light will provide forgiveness and love to those who have felt or caused pain (myself included). My light will illuminate the dark corners of my small universe and cut away any anchors that prevent a smooth sail to still waters. My light will reject fear and seek substance. My light will be a productive and efficient user of time and technology. My light will reflect via positive thinking, quiet meditation, careful selection of words, eager education, anonymous good deeds, and a dimply smile. My light will set my soul ablaze by connecting to its life-force with undying gratitude and purpose: music, kindness, love, and creativity. I will drink in all these gifts from the divine well inside me until I spit bright shining drops of heaven like a chubby cherub fountain back into the thirsty lungs of the universe. My light will be a burning wick for candles in search of a flame. My light will oppose weight with the buoyancy of a thousand bright orange life jackets. My light will orbit planets, guide ships, nourish plants, and make unapologetic time for itself.
Let’s light(en) up 2013!
Be aware. Be light. Be love!