ARE YOU A LIGHTHOUSE?

Miwaukee lighthouse

Are you a lighthouse? Seems like a dumb question. You are certainly not a tall cylindrical building. I would go as far to say you do not have a light emanating from the top of your head. Although I have seen some interesting hats in music videos recently, but they are generally the exception and not the rule. So why would I ask if you are a lighthouse? This idea came from the tag on a cup of tea I was enjoying. I usually drink Yogi brand tea for the reason that they contain some inspiring bit of information on each tea bag. Today mine read “Spread the light; be the lighthouse.” Certainly they were not advocating some sort of strange form of reincarnation.

I began to ponder what the job of a lighthouse really is. Certainly it spreads the light. It does so to help safely guide ships through obstacles and dark weather. That is very helpful to the sailors trying to navigate the waters. How can we be a lighthouse? We certainly are all like the sailors. No, I don’t mean we are the captain of a large yacht sailing around the sunny Caribbean, although that wouldn’t be a bad situation. What we all are is captains of our own ship of life doing our best to navigate the waters of life. I don’t know exactly what your life is like, but I would imagine it has its share of obstacles and dark weather. We all appreciate the lighthouses we have in our lives. The warnings and guidance that we receive that make navigating our troubled waters a little easier.

What exactly does ‘being a lighthouse’ mean? How can we help each other navigate the troubled waters of life? We can mimic what a lighthouse does for ships, by doing the same thing in the lives of others. We can warn them of obstacles that they may be approaching. This isn’t necessarily yelling at someone not to do something you don’t think they should, but more being a sign of caution. One of the great ways to do this is by telling your story of obstacles you may have faced and overcome or are overcoming. We all have faced challenges in our lives. Sharing our stories is one way to be a beacon of light to others. Maybe you have survived an abusive relationship or a in the process of doing so now? By sharing that story you cannot only give others going through the same thing hope, you can also let them know they are not alone. When we are in the middle of our own struggles it can be hard to understand that there are others facing the same thing. Just to know we are not alone is reassuring. Helping others to see the warning signs that we may have missed is a great way of being a lighthouse. We may have crashed onto the rocks of life, but if we help others avoid doing the same thing, it will serve a positive experience.

Think of the other job we mentioned that a lighthouse does; help others navigate treacherous and dark weather. When someone is facing a dark time in their lives, such as a break up, job loss or loss of a loved one, their world can be devoid of light. When you find yourself somewhere dark it can often be difficult to see where to go, or even how to go forward. That is where having a friend who is a lighthouse in our life comes in handy. We don’t have to give them directions or tell them where to go, we just have to be a light to help them keep sailing along. That may be offering to listen, sharing a smile, doing something kind and thoughtful or a host of positive things that bring light into someone’s life. We may not be able to rid them of the darkness, but even offering a little light can go a long way.

Whether you are warning others of obstacles you may not have navigated well in the past, or just shining a light in the lives of others to help them get through the dark and stormy periods of life, being a lighthouse can be a great thing to do. With the global pandemic as well as the start of the winter season, many of us could use light in our lives now more than ever. I encourage you to discover ways in which you can be a source of that light. If you have ideas we did not mention here I ask you please leave them in the comments below so we may all bring as much light into the world as possible.

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