Anger. Hate. Greed. Envy. Malice. The world seems to be so full of it today doesn’t it? You can’t turn on the tv or hop on facebook without being bombarded with these messages. And in a time where negativity and cynicism seem to reign supreme, where can we find the light? Where can we look to find love and joy amid the turmoil?

When pondering this, I realized how many sources I turn to find that joy and relief. And it’s amazing how many sources of light and beauty abound in this world and I don’t know about you but that’s a huge sigh of relief for me 🙂 I’ll briefly talk about my spouse, my family and my friends, my faith, role models and service.

My Spouse

I don’t know how I got so lucky with the husband I have. He is so amazing and endlessly supportive. His patience is unreal. I’m a person who has multiple interests and one of the major ones is crafting. I ALWAYS seem to have a project (or 20) I’m working on all at once. He never seems to lose patience with me. I’ve rarely met someone to match his level of compassion.

And all of this really is what makes him one of the main sources of light in my life. He’s got me through some of my darkest moments, and I’m not one to let despair and the world’s troubles get me down.

My husband’s strength seems to have no limit and that has been a huge source of comfort and peace. He’s always encouraging me and we seem to keep each other in check as far as remembering where all of our blessings come from. We help each other remember to always express gratitude to God for everything.

So yeah, I couldn’t imagine my life without him and his wonderful light.

My Family

You know, even with the dysfunctions and trials every family seems to have, mine included, I wouldn’t be where I am in life if it wasn’t for my family being who they are. Yes, we have our problems, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

Being the oldest sibling, I kind of (perhaps forcefully at times) took upon myself the role of being the example in everything. And quite frankly, that’s an enormous amount of pressure. Hoping you’re setting a good example in how you treat your family, the people around you. How you approach your education. How you deal with the work force. How you handle adulthood. And yes, how you live your faith.

So, yes, my family is a source of light in my life. They’ve long been part of my drive to stay true to who I am, my standards I live, the choices I make, how I tackle the problems the world likes to throw my way. They were pretty much my only friends for years, as I was shunned and bullied the first several years of my school life. I love them dearly.

My Friends

Ah, friends 🙂 Where would we be without at least one friend eh? I have the most amazing friends anyone could ask for (I’m sure each of you feels the same about yours, which is good, that’s the kind of friend we all need). And my circle of friends are a unique variety, they each definitely have their own personality and livelihood.

Those unique things are what make them so wonderful. I don’t think I could handle being around a group of people that each person thought the exact same way and you couldn’t really tell the difference between any of them.

Of course I have my closest friends, and one who I truly consider my absolute best. Without her, I wouldn’t like life quite so much. She and I seem to have this knack for taking turns building each other up whenever life throws a wrench at us. Every one of my friends, regardless of their own struggles, bring some bit of light into my life. They each in their own way, remind me of the blessings I have when some moments I just feel completely bogged by turmoil.

So seriously, if you don’t feel you have one good friend or a handful of people you can count on, just think of all the people you talk to. Chances are, one or two of them are more trustworthy than you think. Find the ones you can rely on. Find the ones who bring out the best in you. The ones who help you see light when life wants to throw darkness at you.

My Faith

I am LDS. Or Mormon. I prefer the term LDS as that is actually an acronym from the name of my church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Yes, my faith is definitely the main source of light in my life. Without it, I would’ve ended up on a very dark and dangerous path years ago. When pretty much all of my peers from the start, I mean I’m talking kindergarten, decided I wasn’t worth the pleasure of their friendship, it was misery from there on out.

I was bullied, it was hard. Very hard. The few people who would give me two kind words were either teachers or random kids, never any real connections with anyone. So, I turned to my scriptures and prayer. Thank goodness for God and my Savior.

My scriptures are my favorite books on this planet (and considering I’m an avid reader, that’s saying something, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter for the win!). So many verses spoke to my very soul and helped me know there was someone there going through my trials with me. I can’t thank my God and my Savior enough for getting me through school.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t go through the entirety of my school years friendless. It was just the first several years but it was still an awful trial. But I can honestly say that those trials made me that much more grateful for the good things I had in life.

My Role Models

Of course, my first and foremost role models would be my parents. They taught me, by example, how to live a hard working, faith filled life. Even through trials, they showed me how to be resilient and steadfast. I will forever thank them for that.

I can’t talk about role models without mentioning my ‘other Mom’. I’m sure most if not all of you have one. A wonderful woman in your life who is like a second mother. I have to say I think I have the best one :). For the sake of fairness to all those wonderful women who fill that kind of a role in someone’s life, she’s the best one for me. I’ve known her it seems for all my life and she was there when almost no one else was. She was very instrumental in keeping me sane (though she’d say otherwise of herself) and I love her forever.

How many of you have friends who are role models? Or are you kind of considered the role model? I feel like I fall into both groups. It never ceases to amaze me how many people I know (especially the older ones) who come to me for advice or a much needed vent. I always express this to my husband and he, in his ever kind, loving way, explains that I just exude trustworthiness. I tell him all I want to do is help people. I know what it feels like to not have many to trust and I don’t want others feeling that way if I can help it.

And of course, yes there are those in prominent positions, be it on the big screen of entertainment or positions of authority that many consider role models.

When discovering who your role models are, ponder these things. Do they help you see the good in yourself? Do they encourage you to make good choices? And I think most importantly, do they love you unconditionally and always seem to want to help you become better and better each time they see you?

Just as it’s important to recognize who your role models are, ponder who you could be a role model to. Look at your life and see what you do or have that could help someone. Which brings me to my final point.

Service

Serving someone else really helps me to put my own problems in perspective and it just plain and simply feels awesome to make another person’s life just a little bit easier. I feel like every day there are moments when I just want to throw a brick or something at my problems and scream at them to go away. But that all melts when I focus on someone else and see how I can be helpful.

And that’s what service does, it takes you outside of yourself, which quite frankly we all need to do that sometimes. It brings you into another person’s shoes, you can help them and you might learn something about yourself in the process.

When you lose yourself in serving, as least in my case, I find life isn’t necessarily easier, but it’s easier to handle. I can think clearly again, I can see the light again so to speak, and I can decide how to approach the trial. And in a better way.

Service often brings a solution to mind that I had not previously seen. And I just really enjoy the person’s reaction when they don’t have to handle their problem all alone. It’s so nice and gratifying to see that you are bringing light to them. And in turn, it brings light to you.
I could go on and on about these for hours and probably come up with many more things that might seem odd to be a source of light or comfort but I’ll leave you with these to ponder. I invite you to take a few minutes and just think, what are the sources of light in your life? And are you possibly the source of light for someone else?