Love is spelled Light

Recently i shared a small snippet on what it means to be a light. It was a chance to share one of the things of my life for which I’m thankful for.

I’m thankful for it because we live in a world that focuses on “ME”. It focuses on things we can get from life, whether it be wealth, status or just generally our wellbeing. All those things are nice, they are great actually. However there’s more to living than this.

I’ve found that one of the things I do naturally and effectively is to be a light. What does that mean exactly?

The idea of it comes from the book of Matthew in chapter 5:16 where it says;

“So don’t hide your light! Let it shine brightly before others, so that the commendable things you do will shine as light upon them, and then they will give their praise to your Father in heaven.”
Matthew 5:16 (Passion translation)

In a more general sense of the translation to be a light means to shine or to bring light to people’s lives. It means to encourage, empower and set an example. It means supporting or showing love to those around you.

It’s about shining a light on something, like in the same way a light shone in the darkness reveals the true identity of something.

I’ve found over time that people need other people. We carry burdens, we carry fragments of our past which even though are in our past they still touch, linger and affect our futures. It’s not always easy to see things for what they really are. We see them through the lens we get used to seeing them through. And this affects our ability to look forward.

I’ve found that i have a way with words. Almost always in a context of writing something. But I’ve learned also that sometimes those words need to be spoken. Words have meaning. They impact us.

While words spoken can have an impact, it is examples which impact more. Examples are best set by actions. Our presence can mean a lot to someone, just having someone being there fills a void that can be incredibly beneficial.

What is it we carry that is so beneficial?

We carry a presence which reflects the nature of who we are. It’s partially personality but if anything it’s more than that. It stems from the heart and your deepest desires. My heart seems to carry vast amounts of compassion, empathy and love. It’s hard to know why but it does.

It’s only been recent years that I’ve let that part of me really be seen. Not for fear of what others would think, but honestly? It was that I truly did not understand what it was that i carried within me.

It’s one thing to be nice to someone. I always found that easy. But it’s something far greater to step out and just be there for someone. Sometimes it’s just a message, a conversation. Even just a moment. What counts in that moment is the example. It’s the action which speaks loudest.

It’s like saying;

“Friend, nothing else matters. I support you. I want you to see that i am simply here for you”.

Nothing is expected in return for this isn’t about me. It’s about doing the very thing i believe we are here for. Each other.

We are here for each other.

That is what it means to be a light. I know that at the other end of the spectrum it is people’s words and presence which have encouraged me over time.

Sometimes we know where to go but can’t seem to find our way there. This is where we need other people. I don’t think its coincidence that the people in our lives are who they are. I think they all play a role in shaping who we are meant to become. It is their words, their encouragement, their constant presence and support which helps us find our way.

When I think about my presence I want to know that i made a difference. I want to know that I stopped and helped someone when they needed it.

Why?

Because not everyone will do it. People will be left to fend for themselves, or feel that their circumstances left them unworthy of a good deed. I see people made to pay continuously for their poor decisions. I see people living without belief of better days ahead. Of choosing to believe that hope is something they cannot touch because they feel they don’t deserve it.

But hope is a powerful thing. Hope is a presence that restores the broken, it recharges the defeated and it reminds the lost that you will find that place you desire once more.

That is why shining a light for all to see is so important.

My light is your hope. Light shines for all to see. Your hope shines brightest in the darkest moments, like the sun that rises after the night’s longest hour. I’m reminded of that every time the sun breaks out after a storm.

Friends as Christmas passes and a new year closes in remind yourself to think of those around you. Be encouraged that your presence can be someone else’s light.

Understanding your heart

I have learned a lot from my own heart in the last 18 months. I feel like there was a journey that needed to be taken. I felt like soul searching wasn’t a cliche or throwaway line to be used, but more that it was a path that was in front of me and that the choice was mine. To go down the path. Or to watch from afar.

To go down the path was just a start. It was nothing more than a choice.

What was down that path?

What things would I see?

What things would i learn?

What lessons would impact me?

And perhaps most importantly what would I become of the impact?

Who would i discover inside of me?

Was I someone new? Different? A better person? Or just a better version of the one who already existed? Like a refined version.

The thing about the path, or rather the journey of my own heart is that you do learn a lot about yourself. Like any path you see things. You experience things. You feel things. It’s a journey that makes sure it impacts you. Hopefully for the better. For me i feel like it has definitely been a good thing.

A valuable thing in fact.

Not everything you learn is a good thing. There are things that seem hard, or harsh. There are things that will challenge you along the way, but those things exist to better you because by now we all know that we can overcome all things.

See, we are stronger than we realise. Our minds doubt what we are capable of. They tell us lies, they slant the truth or lead us to perceive things differently to how they really are. But it’s that same mind that holds the key. The key to whatever it is we’re searching for.

Perhaps that thing is our heart?

One thing I’ve found and learned is that it’s one thing to feel your heart but it is entirely another thing to understand it. Our heart is more than just a heartbeat that allows us to live. Importantly it’s an expression of who we really are.

When you begin to understand your heart you begin to understand yourself. I now see that. Your heart can be hidden if you let it. What people see of you isn’t always your true self. It kind of bugs me that we do this. That we reflect an image of ourselves that isn’t really us.

Why? Why even bother with the stupid smokescreen???

I wish i knew. I suspect it’s got a lot to do with our flawed personalities. That we’re too easily controlled by insecurity. That the image we present is just as valuable as the real us. It’s a crazy lie.

The search for one’s heart, our own heart – is a journey that forces you to critique yourself. You only find it when you reach a point where you discover who you really are and what it is that makes you tick. Only when you identify with your identity do you really understand yourself and therefore – your heart. When you reach that point life feels easier. It feels secure. Life feels as though you finally found the map to the trail that your life is.

The challenge therefore has to be to stay true to yourself. Forgetting the expectations placed on you the challenge is first to seek your heart.

To find it, reflect on it. To ask questions of it. To spend time alone just meditating on wherever the process takes you. Find places that relax you. Find places that don’t distract you. Take a walk or a drive and just find a place that allows you to switch off.

I’m reminded of a quote from author John Eldredge who said;

There is is something else I am after, out here in the wild. I am searching for an even more elusive prey….something that can only be found through the help of the wilderness. I am looking for my heart. ( Wild at Heart – John Eldredge)

The bottom line is that our hearts are more vital, more influential and more defining of ourselves than we perhaps ever realised. If our heart feels good, we feel good. If we understand our heart, we feel a sense of peace within us. It’s that vital!

But damn! It is elusive. Like in John Eldredge’s “Wild at Heart” the experience of finding your heart, and therefore yourself isn’t an easy one. It isn’t about any one moment. No lightbulb moments here.

If anything the experience tells me that it’s more likely to be a journey. It’s more likely that a combination of time, experiences and reflection are going to help. But the journey probably will be wild. Not least because in order to learn about yourself you need to confront yourself.

That’s not the easiest thing to do. But it may just be the best thing you do. So friends – be bold, be strong and remind yourself that you carry something so special, so desirable within you – your heart.

Learn to seek your heart. To listen to it, to understand it better. Take the time. Be patient with it because if you do will discover something magical of it.

From the heart


I completely fell for this quote when I read it. John Eldredge is a name I’ve only discovered in the last 12-18 months but already he feels like a trusted advisor. One day it was suggested to me I should look his name up and source out his books. One in particular was “Wild at Heart”. I was told it was a bit of a game changer. That it will be the best thing I’ll ever do. So i did it. Cue the following……

So what is it about this quote??

Caring for our own hearts isn’t selfishness. It’s about looking out for yourself. It’s about positioning yourself in a way that ensures that you are where you need to be, at least from a heart point of view. I wrote last time about the heart check and determining whether your thoughts, your actions and therefore your heart are in the right place.
I think its more than okay to be selfish in this regard because what you feel inside of you will reflect outwardly towards others. So if your heart is in a good place you are far more likely to reflect that heart on to others and it will be in a good way, a positive way. Chances are it will be done in a loving way.

But what happens when you feel inside that your heart is not where it needs to be? You feel discontentment. You feel edgy. You feel the sense of comfort is missing. Little things bother you and the bigger issues nag at you like you’re sick in the stomach. In these moments it’s okay to stop. To admit that you’re not happy. It’s about dissecting why you feel this way and what you can do to improve things. Sure, there may not be any bright, quick and easy solutions but small steps are just effective.

I completely agree with the sentiment that our hearts are allowed to be selfish places. Our hearts begin to love when they are in the right place. They can invest in things, grow relationships and fuel a fire deep within you and when that place is a good place then the heart is growing the way it was intended.

I’ve learned that a lot of what I do starts from the heart. I think it’s important to remember that for ourselves. The good things we do start from the heart. But be wary because we do let ourselves down sometimes. We say things or do things that we are not proud of. That doesn’t mean our hearts are in a bad place. It simply means we’re human and prone to mistakes. Our hearts are stronger than this though and with the right drive and determination we can move on from these moments.

I’ve also learned that there is a real power within us when we love. A heart that loves is truly at peace in that moment when it loves. There’s a contentment, a desire that can’t be broken – almost like a shield that protects that love from the forces designed to bring it down. It’s something we all want yet so many of us envy those who carry it.

But the truth may be that we all do carry it?

The truth may be that we simply haven’t allowed ourselves the chance to really, genuinely begin to love. See love doesn’t discriminate, it doesn’t judge, it never boasts. Sometimes it doesn’t need words to be verbalised – it just does. Love is more than words, it is more than the sum of what can ever be offered. What you DO will ALWAYS count for more.

When they say that actions speak louder than words I feel that the phrase is well worn out. It’s been used for how long now?? It’s not that it’s lost it’s truth, it’s just that it’s a statement that probably isn’t as effective as it once was. But it’s truth is well worth remembering. “Doing” means to actively involve yourself in an action and when you DO something it has the ability to be impressionable on others, so make it count and make it a positive action.

I think it’s important to remember also that you control your heart. You can feel it inside of you when it’s in that happy place. You can feel it inside you when you’re discontent. So look out for yourselves. Surround yourself with people you know make you feel good. Surround yourselves with people you love and show you how to love. This is how we begin to love and this is how our heart was designed.