It becomes more and more apparent to me that we need the rough patches in our lives in order to appreciate the good that is given to us. We need the dark in order to see the light. This is not an easy realization to come to. Like most, I would rather skirt through life carefree and full of happiness. Unfortunately, that’s not how life happens. I’ve been through my fair share of struggles. I’m sure you have to, but you know what? I feel like I’m a better person because of them. Our hurts help us to connect with other people on a level that is hard to get to otherwise. Our hurts make us human, real, vulnerable. People connect with that realness. Don’t be afraid to show it. Don’t be afraid to open, to be raw.
I work as a mental health therapist for children and adolescents. I have a few kids on my caseload whose stories are devastating. Sadness is a heavy weight tied to their backs. You can see it in their faces. In the way they walk. It breaks my heart. One little girl, wise beyond her years, told me she just wanted someone to really love her. So I told her about the fireflies…
Fireflies are magical. They come out only when it’s dark. They aren’t afraid to shine, even if it’s only for a moment. They provide light in the darkness. They provide a moment of hope and joy.
If you’re going through a particularly difficult time right now, I encourage you to look for the fireflies in your life. The small rays of hope. The moments when things are going well. The moments of peace, even if they are small and last only minutes. The moments of light in the darkness. Just like catching fireflies in jars, we may need to write these moments down to remember them, or take a mental picture to tuck away in our hearts for later. Put positive quotes or pictures where you can see them, if that helps. Collect the fireflies and the darkness will not seem as overwhelming, lonely and scary. Light will drive out the dark.
If you have made it through to the other side of your struggle, remember there is always someone else who is smack dab in the middle of their own. Be a ray of hope in their life. Offer up your kindness, gifts and services. The world seems to be filled with darkness, but each person’s love and positive energy makes a difference to counteract that. Radiate love. You never know who might be searching for their own fireflies.