The moments of darkness and light make us human. No matter how we try to avoid them, they are inevitable parts of being alive. It is scary in the darkness. Sometimes it seems so real we forget who we are and that there is anything more than these powerful emotions. The darkness and base emotions weigh us to the Earth until we forget we are spirit with wings to fly. I have lost loved ones in this place. I almost lost myself.
These times are blessings in disguise because they lead to deep transformation within. Without the forge, we cannot become more than what we are. Our challenge is to transform the darkness into something bigger than ourselves. When we choose to illuminate the darkness and learn its lessons, we become spiritually aware. A spiritual transformation to gold. Our light becomes a beacon for others struggling in the darkness.
It is both heartwarming and heartbreaking to join thousands of others who have been affected by suicide in a walk to raise money and awareness. We share the heartbreak of losing someone we love in the darkness. Rather than joining them, we shine a light and transform our loss into a beacon to lead others out of the darkness.
This picture represents my transformation. The shirt represents the efforts of my friends and family to raise $175 to help others know they are not alone. The feathers were found yesterday during my walk. They represent the angels in my own story. You can read my story here if you don't already know it. The beads are also symbolic. All of us selected the colors that represented our path to this place. Mine are blue, green, and purple. Teal represents my family members who struggle with depression and suicide. Purple is the loss of my friend and of my students. Green shows my own struggle as a teenager.
Joining a community brings me healing and a greater understanding of what I need to do in this life. I am thankful that Mandy and John were feeling well enough to walk with me this year. Although Nick was not at a place where he could join me, I know he was there in spirit. I was also blessed to be joined by my friend Robyn who experienced this loss a few months ago. There is nothing more powerful than hearing people's stories, holding hands for a moment of silence, and feeling the overwhelming power of love.