Sparkler. Gabriel Pollard, Photographer. Wikimedia Commons.
“You often feel tired, not because you’ve done too much, but because you’ve done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
Alexander Den Heije
Do you know what ‘sparks a light in you?’ Are you aware of what makes you feel excitedly creative, awakened, full of life and energy, brimming with enthusiasm and passion?
“When you start to do the things that you truly love, it wouldn’t matter whether it is Monday or Friday; you would be so excited to wake up each morning to work on your passions.“
“Every day I see or hear something that more or less kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light.”
Here are 3 ways in which we can be inspired to spark that inner light:
- Finding Our Light In The Darkness.
Dark Times VIII. Gyula Hincz. Wikioo.
“In these dark and uncertain times, there can be great value in imagining a bit of star in each human soul. Not just that it gives some hope for humanity at a time when man’s inhumanity to man seems ever on the increase; but also because it points to an inner brightness that can light the way in dark times.”
Sometimes, our lives feel full of darkness, pain and distress, perhaps in the form of loss, grief or illness.
Sometimes, it might feel as though that vital inner spark which carries us through has dimmed or disappeared.
Still Life With Blue Box. Paula Modersohn Becker. Wikioo.
“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”
The poet Mary Oliver discovered that, in time, out of the box of darkness came some goodness, some light.
This can be in the form of insight, learning, life experience. Such awareness of the good that may come from bad experiences is part of a long process.
This is a process of resolution, of working through our painful darknesses in life and moving into something lighter and brighter.
Walking Towards The Light, Cochin. Lucy Willis. Wikioo.
“You need to spend time crawling alone through shadows to truly appreciate what it is to stand in the sun.”
What does ‘sparking a light in us’ mean? How can we find this?
Are we actually aware of our own ‘inner light’ which can still shine and guide us through the darkness?
🌟 “What makes night within us may leave stars.” 🌟
Maxfield Parrish – Lanterns at Twilight. Gandalf’s Gallery. Flickr.
“It is essential that you become aware of the light, power, and strength within each of you, and that you learn to use those inner resources in service of your own and others’ growth.”
This quotation refers to our internal landscape, a part of us that some may be unaware of, but which influences us at every moment of our lives.
Inner Landscape. Bernie Casey. 1970. Wikioo.
“This inner world is truly infinite, in no way poorer than the outer one. Man lives in two worlds.”
Within our minds, we all have an internal landscape, a vast and complex inner world of our creation, both conscious and unconscious, a blend of many aspects, including memories, dreams, beliefs, imaginings, experiences, fears, thoughts and feelings.
Joseph Stella – The Battle of Lights, Coney Island, Mardi Gras [1913-14]
Many people live their lives believing only in conscious, rational thought, reacting ‘logically’ to the world around them.
In fact, there is a whole ‘other part’ of them, busily active, which they ignore or choose not to know about.
“Life is not so much defined by the external situation as it is by the internal one.”
If we have been able to resolve some of the darker issues in this inner world, if we have been able to face some of our own shadow- side, then there will be some space for our inner light.
Young Woman on a Stool, 1909Leon Spilliaert. The Hearn Family Trust. Wikimedia Commons.
“The best way out is always through.”
We cannot get rid of all darkness, both inner and outer, but we can work towards achieving a balance of light and dark. Each complements the other.
Chiaroscouro (light-dark) is a term in art that refers to the use of powerful and contrasting light and dark tones, which can also be used to achieve a three-dimensional effect.
Merry Company. Gerrit Van Honthorst.Wikioo.
“Nothing makes the light, the wonder, the treasure, stand out so well as darkness.”
Clarissa Pinkola Estés
This artistic effect is also symbolic of the light and dark within ourselves.
Having both aspects in our personality in a balanced and integrated way, means that we are more fully-rounded as people, more whole, with each part of us enhancing the other parts.
“Your defects are the ways that glory gets manifested… That’s where the Light enters you.”
“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.”
It is true that we gain strength and power through having experienced suffering and having been very vulnerable. Out of our weakness emerges the kernel of our strength.
When we are courageous, it is because we have been able to withstand our original fears and to resiliently forge ahead despite these fears. This is what makes us real and whole human beings.
Allowing oneself to reveal vulnerabilities means that we are being honest about ourselves. We become more real.
This will allow us to heal fractures within our emotional selves, and we are likely to be stronger as a result.
Bruce Cohen – Interior with Sunlit Tulips [2017-18] Gandalf’s Gallery. Flickr.
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”
If we feel full of light inside, it does not seem as difficult to walk in a dark place.
Happy Woman. Ferdinand Hodler. Wikioo.
“A happy heart can walk in triumphant indifference through a sea of external trouble; while internal anguish cannot find happiness in the most favorable surroundings.”
Hannah Whitall Smith
When we have that spark of life-energy inside us, we can emit light to others, and inspire them. We really can ‘spread the light.’
Connected to the Stars. Paul Klee. Wikioo.
“The universe and the light of the stars come through me.”
“My barn having burned down, I can now see the moon.”
2. Rekindling The Inner Spark From Childhood .
“What did you do as a child that made the hours pass like minutes? Herein lies the key to your earthly pursuits.”
“As a child, what captivated me was reading the poems myself and realizing that there was a world without material substance which was nevertheless as alive as any other.”
Nothing is more beautiful than seeing a child light up with enthusiasm. The zest for life, the excitement, the energetic, uninhibited, exuberance of a happy child is a joy to witness.
Can we hold onto this spark of childhood enthusiasm, whilst channelling it into adult life and work?
Childhood fantasies and excitement can be transformed into something equally beautiful…and lifelong.
Following one’s passions, allowing ourselves to light up with enthusiasm and creativity, can mean that we will hold onto this capacity to be fascinated and amazed.
“The light is all around, but to find it, we need to look inside our hearts. We can go through life and search in all the wrong places. But one day we’ll look within and we’ll find the entire universe.”
Paul Meltsner. ‘Martha Graham.’ Gandalf’s Gallery. Flickr.
“You have to find what a sparks a light in you so that you in your own way can illuminate the world.”
3. Being With Other People
Light Magic. Emile Nolde. Wikioo
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”
Being with another who is brimming with passion and vitality for an idea, a cause, work, creativity, a book or a painting, is an infectious and inspiring experience.
It is helpful to be with people who have passion and interest, who can ‘relight our fire.’ Such creative energy is catching and it tends to boost our mood.
“I need, sometimes, individuals to spark an idea so that I can take off running.”
It is this that makes us feel uplifted. When we are enthusiastic, we feel stimulated, confident, creative, motivated.
It is an exciting, animated feeling, one that can propel us eagerly onwards and upwards.
In addition, when we are in the company of someone who has empathy for us, we can feel encouraged and inspired to develop ourselves, our ideas, our thoughts, no matter how absurd they might seem initially.
“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.”
However, we need to choose wisely and thoughtfully the people with whom we share our ideas; it is often the case that a non-empathic and unsupportive person will quash a new idea with a dismissive or critical attitude.
“One of the most beautiful gifts in the world is the gift of encouragement. When someone encourages you, that person helps you over a threshold you might otherwise never have crossed on your own.”
Genuine encouragement is affirmation of ourselves and it helps us to feel empowered. It goes straight to the core of us, lifting our mood and lighting our light.
“As we open our hearts to others, we begin to discover the truth of our own inner beauty, inner strength and inner light.”
Encouragement can free up another’s imagination and open up new psychic paths.
These paths may be blocked, not through lack of ability, but through lack of self-esteem, or a fear of taking new paths in life.
“This is Now. Now is, all there is. Don’t wait for Then; strike the spark, light the fire.”
“A mighty flame followeth a tiny spark.”
Kerry James Marshall – School of Beauty, School of Culture 
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
I am grateful to all those readers who are helping to keep my own writing spark alight through reading, commenting on and following my blog! I so appreciate your support. Thank you. 🙏❤️ Linda.
© Linda Berman.