“A man from the village of Neguá, on the coast of Colombia, managed to ascend to heaven.
When he returned he recounted his experience. He said he had contemplated human life from above.
And he said we are a sea of little fires.
- The world is like this - he explained - a lot of people, a sea of small fires.
Each person shines with his own light among all others. No two fires are alike. There are large and small fires and fires of all colors. There are people of peaceful fire who do not even realize the wind, and people of mad fire who fill the air with sparks. Some fires, stupid fires, do not light up, let alone burn, while others burn life with such passion that they cannot be observed without batting an eye, and whoever approaches them lights up ".
This beautiful story by the writer Eduardo Galeano taken from his book "The Book of Hugs" shows the differences between people. There are self-confident people who have built up a good self-esteem and are bursting with energy, and it's nice to have them around.
There are other people who have never bothered to grow up and end up consuming themselves in resentment, envy, hatred and resentment. These people are usually bothered by those who shine with their own light, and sometimes they may even try to do whatever they can to turn that light off.
What does it mean to have one's own light?
During some periods of life we let others illuminate us with their light. These people give us a hand when we need it most, provide us with the tools to deal with difficulties and help us solve problems. Alongside them we learn and grow.
However, it is wrong to continually live in the light of others. Everyone must learn to cultivate their own light, which means nurturing their dreams and illusions, strengthening their abilities, and cultivating their "I". If you don't feed your light you will end up disappointed in life, accumulating frustrations and dissatisfactions and turning into a bitter person.
To shine with your own light, it is essential that:
- You are an authentic and consistent person. We all have a different light that makes us unique and special, but if we don't make sure we nourish it, it will eventually go out. The best way to shine with your own light is to be yourself, trying every day to be the best version of us.
- Don't hide your dark side. The dark sides, understood as "flaws", mistakes or failures, are not a reason to be ashamed and there is no need to hide them. The darks that we bring to light end up becoming lights, the ones we hide can end up by turning off our light. There is nothing special about being proud of your successes, instead, feel proud of how you managed to overcome obstacles and get up after a fall.
How to protect yourself from people who turn off the lights?
There are people who can't stand that others shine, as if that light is dazzling them. So they can try to make you believe that you are not worthy of certain things, that your efforts were not worth it, or that you could have done much better.
They can also throw very painful criticism or even attack you where it hurts the most, using emotional manipulation. The problem is that these people bring with them a lot of frustration, and this causes them to project their own obscurities onto others and make others responsible for what they themselves have not been able to achieve.
If you don't build a shield that protects you from their words and attitudes, these attacks are likely to end up turning off your light, which means that you will adopt their negative and defeatist way of seeing life and you too will want to turn off the light of whom. surrounds you.
The three pillars of this shield are:
1. Learn to ignore. Maybe 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 and that perhaps they are not even fully aware of the damage their comments and attitudes can do. So learn to ignore everything that does not allow you to grow. Remember that only what you value can hurt you.
2. Cultivate a sense of humor. There is no more powerful weapon against problems, unhealthy criticism and attempts to denigrate a person than a sense of humor. Don't take everything personal, learn to laugh at what should make you feel uncomfortable, angry, or disparaged. A sense of humor is the tool of intelligent people to protect themselves and not allow others to damage their self-esteem.
3. Continue to be yourself. Don't change your way of being to please others, as this is the most direct path to dissatisfaction and unhappiness. You can adapt your behavior without giving up your essence. Keep in mind that the most effective tools for countering negativity are happiness and feeling good about yourself.
And whenever possible, cast some of your light on others. You will no longer be poor, but richer, because the more the inner light spreads, the more it grows. And always remember that he who shines with his own light does not need to turn off the light of others.