I hate the dark. Every year I am stunned by how strongly my mood and energy are affected by the shortening days. I take my anti-depressant, my vitamin D, I sit with my Happylight for 20 minutes a day, and I remind myself that the light will return.
The events of the last month have served to make the dark even darker. The hate, fear, violence, mistrust, and pain that is everywhere just seems too much sometimes. It becomes overwhelming. It feels like you are responsible for making it all better.
I'm sitting with my "light" right now and writing to bring myself some perspective. The darkness clouds out the rays of light that are always there. My husband and children. My crazy dogs. My dear friends. The families and children who I share space with everyday. My work. The persistent signs that even when the dark is pressing in, the light will eventually burst through.
Morning always comes.
As a part of the growing movement called The Pantsuit Nation, I read stories everyday of people finding their voice and standing up for themselves or others. I go through my day and see others wearing a safety pin. We smile and nod and know that there is someone else who is watching. If there is one giant silver lining from this whole election fiasco, it is the way people are mobilizing.
The dark starts to come again though when I think of the times over the years when after other disasters, we have mobilized and then gone back to our lives... We still haven't made much progress around gun violence. We still leave individuals struggling with mental health issues, addiction and poverty to fend for themselves. Unless the darkness directly touches us, we eventually go back to our lives and leave it to others.
I hope this time is different. The darkness is so thick and oily. We need to bring all the light we can and we must keep it coming. Seeking out the light will help - finding those people and experiences that strengthen you are a must. I will fill up this weekend by immersing myself in the experience of Christmas at Luther. Seeing one daughter singing and one daughter experiencing the joy for the first time will be amazing. Re-connecting with family and friends will make the experience even better.
Find those things that fill you up. Sing, Dance, Pray, Talk, Give. Whatever it is - do it.
The light will come. It always comes. It just feels like the wait might be longer this time.