When I was a little girl, my parents used to take us on weekend trips to the beach on the westside of this island. They would rent a cabin or we would stay at a hotel. These were fun trips. Except at night. Though I have never had problems falling and staying asleep, on some of these trips I would wake up in the middle of the night and stay up for a while, motionless on the bed with my big eyes open in the pitch–dark. On one particular trip we took when I was around six years old, I woke up while we all slept. I stayed on my bed. With the little light that was coming from under the door, I saw a shape on the floor. It was pudgy, arched, with four legs, and a tail. It was a giant rat. I was terrified. I was frozen in place by fear. I kept staring. Hoping, wishing, praying that it wouldn't jump up to my bed and eat me. And then I heard I sound. My heart stopped. It was my dad. He woke up, got out of bed and walked to the bathroom, guided by the same little light coming from underneath the front door to the room. He walked right by the rat. It was all too much for me.
He closed the door. There stood the rat. Time ticked. And then the door to the bathroom opened. The light was on. It shined on the rat. But it wasn't a rat. It wasn't even alive.
There are so many unpleasant and fearful things we imagine, and there are so many unpleasant and fearful things we ignore from our own personalities. These unpleasant and fearful aspects of ourselves can be monstrous or not so much. But we will not know until we shine a light on them.
Today is a good day to illumine that which we fear so much. By shining a light on those shadow forms, we disempower the shadow and empower ourselves. You may find that the giant, evil, hairy, scary rat is nothing but a bundle of dirty beach clothes.
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