“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God.” ~Matthew 5:14-16, From The Message
We are not to hide our light under a bucket! Yet, it’s so easy to shrink in this world if we don’t have a voice. And…there are those who don’t want us to have a voice, to speak the truth, or to be a Light-bearers in these times of darkness.
Narcissism is on the rise and research shows that we are living in a narcissism epidemic. It’s really hard to find our voice, to bring God-colors into the world, when there are dangerous people out there working to tear us down and put our light under a bucket. “Go see a movie!” tweets a dangerous 73 year old male world leader to a female teenage environmental activist in response to her making Time magazine as Person of the Year. The message to her being “Shut the fuck up, this is my stage. Get the hell out!”
If I make you a light bearer – shine!
I love this translation and passage from the Sermon of the Mount. If we are Light bearers, we need to arm and protect ourselves from those who want to hide the Light. You know who they are. All of us have those people in our life. You have those people around you. I have those people around me. The narcissist bullies desire us to shrink and hide our Light under the bucket. They needle us, telling us we aren’t good enough to be on their stage. They overtly and covertly send us messages that we are not important, that we have nothing to offer, and are not valued. You know who these people are in your life. It’s time to shine and leave them behind.
Sometimes it takes a while to recognize when we are being torn down, but when we do, finding our Light is a most powerful tool to combat those who want us to shrink. You do not have to apologize for being the most authentic person you are. Here are 10 affirmations* to help you keep your Light shining in dark, divisive times and detangle yourself from angry, hurtful people:
- I embrace my uniqueness.
- I am a work in progress, and that’s okay. I will forever be in growth mold.
- I will respond to hatred with decency.
- I will comfort and advocate for those who are being oppressed.
- I will be joyful and spirited.
- I will remember my pain, for it’s a force for good.
- I will accept how you feel about me, but will not let it define me. I will define myself. I may listen to your words carefully and process them with care, but I will not mold myself into your view of who I am.
- I will love, accept and celebrate the Light in others, who’s words and works help me grow into my own unique self.
- I will survive and thrive.
- I will inspire.
Oh spirited One, may it be so. May we all be your Color and Light-bearers in these divisive times. In your name, we pray…Amen.
*Adapted from the work by Dr. Les Carter, Surviving Narcissism, Youtube series