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Since 1999, the #1 Motorcycling Magazine for Women and the Men Who Ride with Them

Genevieve's Everyday Miracles: How Does Your Light Shine?

Plugging into the right power source

By Genevieve Schmitt, Editor

Everyday Miracles is a very personal column for readers who want to explore the deeper meaning of life.

We’ve all met someone at least once in our lives whose smile and brightness shines such that we are drawn in to her or him. This person makes us feel good. He or she always has such nice things to say about people. 

When I first met Danielle (not her real name) I was taken by the peace, calmness, and contentment that exuded from her being. She illuminates with joy every day. Everyone who knows Danielle always has the nicest things to say about her. 

"...that little offense leaves a teeny slash mark on our heart,
like a very fine paper cut..."

My friendship with her blossomed and over time I learned what made her shine. I decided to live my life such that I too could harness this energy and live like she does, in that joyful, peaceful, contented state—full of love and humility. Little did I know what living in the light actually required of me.

Genevieves Everyday Miracles How Does Your Light Shine Double Rainbow Sunray

How do we plug in?
Danielle told me her source of joy and peace comes only because of something she does on a daily basis. She says she “plugs in” to a power source every morning.This power source is what gives her that “light.” 

“And how do you plug in Danielle?” I asked.

“I spend time with God every day,” she responded. 

“Every day?” I pressed her. 

“Yes, I must, because there is so much darkness in the world that every day that I’m in the world, the darkness wants to overtake my light.”

Because I am such a visual person, this is how I picture it. We all have a little flame of light flickering in our heart. Think of it as a pilot light, like in a gas stove. Every day we have a choice to power that light with the right kind of fuel to burn brighter in us, or leave it where it is flickering at a very low level. 

If we start our day with just a small flame, there is not enough power for that light to shine through us brightly; not enough light to share with others; and certainly not enough light to overtake the darkness that encroaches on us every day. 

You ask, “What kind darkness are you talking about? Things like negative comments about us, offensive words and actions by others, guilt that may hover around us, disappointments, sorrow from the onslaught of negative news, misinterpretations, stuff from our past that still haunts us, the list goes on and on. 

When we settle in after a long day, we’re spent from all the dark and negative actions that have crossed our path. Some affect us just for a moment, like say a driver cuts us off and triggers a few seconds of anger in us; other negativity can leave a more lasting effect like a snide comment from a co-worker who secretly wants our job, whatever it is—be it one, two or nine things that happen in a day—negativity can exhaust us when we don’t have the power to fight it.

Darkness doesn't only come from others' actions. Darkness can manifest right in our own minds—all those voices in our head, the constant chatter of this and that, negativity that replays over and over in our brains. 

Genevieves Everyday Miracles How Does Your Light Shine Fire

What happens when we don’t plug in?
Because we didn’t plug into the right power source that morning to fuel the flickering flame so it would grow to a large, warm fire roaring in our heart, we did not have the resource inside of us to burn up the negativity when we encountered it. Now, some of that negativity is taking up residence in our heart, in our soul, and in our mind.  

“What do you mean, Genevieve?” you ask. Well, it’s hard to go through a day isolated from negativity. We live in a fallen world. This is a fact. “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” This is the truth about ourselves, our flesh, when we don't have the light shining in us, so says the Bible.

When we encounter antagonism, say something as small as that snarky comment that bothers us that we didn’t deal with right away, that little offense leaves a teeny slash mark on our heart, like a very fine paper cut, right next to the small flickering flame. The flame is too small so it doesn’t have the power to burn up that little negative mark of offense before it lands on our heart to take root there. 

Day after day we go about our lives without fueling that little flame in our heart to burn bigger and brighter so day after day, year after year, negativity after negativity starts to build up on our heart—marks of hurt, marks of shame, marks of unforgiveness, marks of blame, marks of unkindness, marks of guilt, marks of abandonment—the list is endless—so many slash marks accumulate over time all taking root over every square inch of our heart that our little flame is now nearly burned out from being crowded out. 

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