Edith Wharton once said, “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” – Edith Wharton
So, are you the candle or the mirror? Perhaps a bit of both? I like to think that I operate as a bit of both depending on the people that I encounter and their “needs” at the time that our lives collide. I’d also like to think that I am always a bit of a light, choosing to see the good in others and the circumstance that life hands us, even if they seem bleaker or more challenging than circumstance that would normally create feelings of happiness or triumph. What it boils down to (at least for me) is the fact that there is choice – even in the moments where no choice is obvious. We cannot control some of the crappy circumstances that life hands us — our car breaks down, we get the stomach flu right before we are supposed to leave for a family trip, we trip and cut our face right before seeing family (who wants to take pictures no less) that we have not seen in 15 years — yeah that just happened — but there is a choice in all of it. To be happy and grateful for what IS going right. I guarantee you something is going right, even if it’s under a pile of things that aren’t going right. The opportunity to help light someone else’s candle isn’t always blaring and obvious. In fact I’d venture most of the time it’s not like people walk around showing their true selves, begging for the help and love that they need. Most time we burn lots of energy convincing ourselves and others that we don’t need anyone or anything – all the while wishing someone can hear our silent screams of loneliness. Lighting the candle doesnt have to be big and extravagant either – it can be telling someone that they look nice in a sweater, that you appreciate their company or that they make the best rice crispy treats you’ve had. Who knows the positive wave it will start in them.