Everything That is Illuminated
The Light Series – Part 4

Go to PART 1  |  PART 2  |  PART 3  |  PART 4  |  PART 5

Hey friend! I'm Liz
I'm committed to helping you discover a daily practice of meaningful spirituality so that you can live a fulfilling and courageous life.
I'm committed to helping you discover a daily practice of meaningful spirituality so that you can live a fulfilling and courageous life.
“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.”
Last week, on Sunday night, I couldn’t sleep. Which isn’t unusual. What was unusual was that instead of eventually falling into an exhausted slumber at around 4 am, my mind partied on dragging my body with it until dawn. And then until Monday night. I was awake for nearly 40 hours straight.
I didn’t do much that Monday. I rested and reflected and tried to figure out why sleep avoided me the night before. The day before, Sunday, an event took place that five years ago I would have been involved in. It was an event that stirred up a lot of pain and heartache for me. I heard people talking about it, saw things posted about it online, and tried to convince myself that I was fine. Over it. Moved on.

But I wasn’t. On Monday I realized (admitted) that it is still painful. That I am still angry.

On Tuesday I saw my Chiropractor and Kinesiologist.

She’s a woman of faith, and when I told her that I had tried to convince myself that I was fine when in fact, I was angry and upset, she called me out on it.

She reminded me that when I hide negative emotions, pretend they’re not there and refuse to deal with them, they become destructive, wreaking havoc on the mind, soul, and body.

“We can pretend that darkness doesn't exist within us, but that won't lead to healing. We must walk them out into the light.”

Powerful, two minute reads that have helped change the script in thousands of people's lives.

In traditional medicine practices, the body, mind, and spirit are integrated. You don’t treat one without treating the other. It’s a circle, a dance, a collaboration. In Chinese medicine, different emotions relate to different organs in the body. It may sound crazy if you’ve never come across it before, but in treating insomnia and adrenal fatigue, I have been astounded at how true I am finding the connection. Long story short, I refused to deal with the anger and pain that stirred up in my heart due to the event that Sunday, so it manifested itself elsewhere: a sleepless night.

My Chiropractor went on to remind me that in confession, sharing, “light exposure,” that our negative emotions, fears, pain, heartache, worry and more, lose their destructive power in our lives.

It’s no wonder that confession is one of the Sacraments.

James wrote that we should:

Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed.” (James 5:16).

Paul wrote to his friends in Ephesus and said:

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.” (Eph 5:11-13 NIV).

When we take into account the use of hyperbole in the Biblical Text, Paul was making an exaggeration to drive a point home. It is impossible to have nothing to do with darkness. It is within us and around us. (Unless you'd like to tell me that you are perfect and perfect things happen all around you). But he does give us some tools to move forward: expose the darkness, look for the light, find the stars (yesterday's devotion), share with a friend, confess to a confidant. Don’t keep things hidden in the dark.

Everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.

 

Even the darkness is redeemable.

I now have an anger journal. It’s a place for me to unleash, expose and talk about my anger rather than keeping it bottled in my body where it causes further trauma. We can pretend that darkness doesn't exist within us, but that won't lead to healing. We must walk them out into the light.

In a way, even in this short time, the anger I have felt is itself becoming light, revealing to me my values, my sense of justice and where I should aim my attention.

I’m sleeping better, too.

To be continued…

Written by Liz Milani

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