“A man in the village of Neguá, on the coast of Colombia, managed to climb to heaven.
When he returned he told his experience. He said he had contemplated human life from above.
And he said we are a sea of small fires.
-The world like that – he explained – a lot of people, a sea of small fires.
Every person shines with their own light among all others. There are no two fires equal. There are big and small fires and fires of all colors. There are people of clear fire who do not even realize the wind, and people with crazy fire filling the air with sparkles. Some fires, stupid fires, do not light up or even burn, while others burn life with so much passion that they can’t be overlooked, and whoever approaches them is turned on”.
This beautiful story by the writer Eduardo Galeano that appears in his book “The Book of Hugs” shows the differences between people. There are self-confident people who have built a good self-esteem and are overwhelmed with energy, and is pleasant to have them close by.
There are other people who have never managed to grow up and end up being consumed in resentment, envy, hatred and rancor. These people usually bother those who are shining with their own light and sometimes can also try to do everything possible to turn off that light.
What does it mean to have our own light?
During some periods of life we let others illuminate us with their light. These people give us a hand when we need them most, they give us the tools to deal with the difficulties and help us solve the problems. Next to them we learn and grow.
However, it is wrong to live continuously in the light of others. Everyone must learn to cultivate their own light, which means nourishing their dreams and illusions, strengthening their abilities and cultivating their true “ego”. If you do not feed your light you will end up disappointed with life, accumulating frustrations and dissatisfaction will turn you into a bitter person.
To shine on your own light it is essential that:
– You are an authentic and coherent person. We all have a different light that makes us unique and special, but if we don’t make sure to feed it, it will end turned off. The best way to shine on your own light is to be yourself, looking every day to be the best version of you.
– Do not hide your dark side. The dark sides, understood as “defects”, mistakes or failures, are not a reason to be ashamed of and we don’t need to hide them. The dark sides that come to light ends up to become lights, those we keep hiding can end by shutting off our light. There is nothing special being proud of successes, but be proud of how you managed to overcome the obstacles and you got up after a fall.
How to protect yourself from the people who turn off the lights?
There are people who do not stand others shining, as if that light dazzled them. So they can try to make you believe that you are not worthy of certain things, that your efforts are not worth it or that you could do much better.
They can also cast very painful criticisms or even attack you where it hurts the most, using emotional manipulation. The problem is that these people carry a lot of frustration with them, and this causes them to project their own obscurity on others and give others the responsibility of what they have not been able to accomplish.
If you do not build a shield that protects you from their words and attitudes, these attacks are likely to turn off your light, which means that you will adopt their negative and defective way of seeing life and you too will want to turn off the light of those who surrounds you.
The three pillars of this shield are:
1. Learn to ignore. Perhaps some of the people who are bothered by your light are friends or colleagues. Instead of getting angry with them, assume that they are different people with different life experiences who are perhaps not even fully aware of the damage can make their comments and attitudes. Learn to ignore everything that does not allow you to grow. Remember that you can only be hurt by what you have given value to.
2. Cultivate the sense of humor. There is no more powerful weapon against problems, unhealthy criticisms, and attempts to denigrate a person than the sense of humor. Do not assume everything as something personal, learn to laugh at what should make you feel uncomfortable, angry or denigrated. The sense of humor is the tool of intelligent people to protect themselves and not allow others to harm their self-esteem.
3. Continue to be yourself. Do not change your way of being to please others, because this is the most direct path to dissatisfaction and unhappiness. You can adapt your behavior without sacrificing your essence. Keep in mind that the most effective tools to counteract negativity are happiness and the fact that you feel good about yourself.
And whenever you can, project some of your light on the others. You will not be poorer, but richer, because the inner light, the more it spreads, the more it grows. And always remember that those who shine with their own light do not need to turn off the light of others.