This week, I honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a spiritual teacher, an ascended master, a leader who stood for hope, love, justice, peace, and light. His famous quote, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that,” has broad application. Politically, socially, and personally, light is the only thing that can drive out darkness.
Yet, you may ask, “what is the nature of my light? And, what part of me is darkness?”
Our light is our truest nature, the part of us that embodies love, strength, compassion, kindness—the part of us that urges us to step into our full power, stand up for ourselves, express our feelings, and, ultimately, relate to others positively. Our darkness, some call it our “shadow” side, is that part of us that feels joyless, stuck, shame, guilt, which often results in berating ourselves with negative self-talk and doubt. Your darkness buys into the story that you are limited, that you are a victim, and that what you truly want to experience in life just isn’t available to you.
Life is always a perfect mirror for the attitudes we embrace. So, how do we cultivate an attitude that brings forward our light and understands the lessons of our darkness?

Follow those nudges and pursue the things you’ve always wanted to do.

The degree of empowerment you have will be reflected in your experiences with others. Instead of blaming others for holding you back, keeping you from being able to pursue what makes you happy, I implore you to listen to yourself and take action on those nudges you have to become a newer, better, higher version of yourself. Every situation we encounter shows us to what degree we are empowered to pursue what our heart is telling us we want. Feeling stuck in a job? Feeling stuck in a relationship? How does that feeling reflect your inner attitude? When you have yearnings but do not act upon them, what message are you sending to your innermost self?

Expand out of your comfort zone.

Following those nudges will likely be uncomfortable. In process-oriented psychology, “the edge” is the term used to describe the territory in between the known and the unknown, the past and the future, and our current concept of ourselves and what we subconsciously want to become. We often stall at the point of action because the unknown is on the other side of that action. Yet, you can always choose to draw upon your inner awareness to guide you toward your highest vision of yourself. As you shift your thinking about what’s possible, you are tapping into your greater strength, your willpower, and your spirit of determination. The situations you need to move through will present themselves and, if you’ve cultivated self-awareness, you’ll be prepared to take the next, right step. And then the next, right step.

Get the support of others to achieve what’s possible for you.

We humans are wired for connection. That’s why we organize ourselves in families and communities and societies and nations.  But, don’t wait passively by to be chosen by others; identify, formalize, and rally your team!  Ask for the vital support you need to encourage you beyond your current edges. Follow the light within you by asking yourself, “whose presence inspires me?” Then, choose that person and others and ask them very directly for their support. Tell them, “I’m asking you to help me in these specific ways because I am pushing my edges in these specific ways.” You must create your support team--your trust advisors, who love you unconditionally--and you must tell them what you need from them. Accountability toward your expansion? Ask for it. Comfort when your darkness begins to fuel self-doubt? Request help.
This shift in energy, in your focus on your own light,  has the power to ignite in you those aspects of yourself previously unexplored.  What are you waiting for? There’s never been a better time, and the world needs your light.
You need your light, too.