I have longed loved this quote. I also have to admit, for most of that time, I have looked at being the candle as the preferable way. I have seen it as more powerful. I am just now coming to realize that each way has its time and place.
In my role as a grief counselor, I usually need to “be the candle” for my clients – just as I remember needing others to be the candle for me when I was in the depths of pain after losing a loved one. Grief puts us in a space where we can not be the light ourselves. Very often we even have difficulty seeing the light that is being held for us. Everything feels so thick, so heavy, so dark. All we can do is trust those who tell us the light is there…somewhere…and who remind us that we will once again be able to see it someday.
Conversely, with my spiritual counseling clients, whose focus is often to live from their Higher Self (aka their soul), my job is to be the mirror that reflects their own light. The first step is to get them to see the light within them, day in and day out, whatever life circumstances they are facing. It requires holding them as whole, complete, unbroken – whatever they are doing or whatever stories they are telling me (and themselves). Self-forgiveness, self-care, and self-love are frequent topics of conversation. Most of all, we focus on accepting ourselves as we are, light and all. It reminds me of the Marianne Williamson quote, “It is our light, not our darkness, that we are most afraid of.”
I invite you to watch how you interact with the light in your life.
Are there times when you are being the candle when it might be a higher calling to reflect the light in another? What about those times when you are needing the light? Can you let another help you to find your own – or do you automatically assign them the role of official light bearer? Just as with every area of our life, the more conscious we can be of how we lift up ourselves and others, the more effective and compassionate as well.