“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.”                  Carl Jung

I think that we are going through a period in our society, and in our world in general when we are increasingly aware of an overwhelming amount of darkness in the world; and of billions of people around the world, even here in the US, living in darkness.  At times, those of us who battle chronic illness feel like we are the ones in the dark; and sometimes we are.  So, we are the ones who want someone to come along and kindle some light in our lives.

What I think is essential for us to remember, though is that although we do battle our own forms of darkness, we are still capable of kindling the light, and in fact being the light, in others’ lives.  Indeed, because of our own struggles, we are even more capable of kindling light and hope in other people.  Our lives can become silent examples of overcoming darkness and distress.  (I say “silent”, because I personally am irritated by people who proclaim,”I did it, therefore, so can you!”)

Because we have been through our own struggles, we are much better at listening to others, and providing understanding and empathy . . . even an “I Thou Relationship” which comes from the heart and soul, not the head.  That is the only truly healing relationship.

Allow yourself to seek the light, often in the form of a “good listener.”  And then, really focus on how you can kindle light in the darkness that someone else is going through.  You have a lot more light in you than you realize.

Christopher Knippers, Ph.D.                                        March 29, 2017

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