Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Needing Enlightenment - Taking a Brighter Look

A few weeks ago, I was in my basement and I had been sewing Princess Five's Winter Ball Dress. Here is a link to that.
I was squinting through that process but didn't realize that it was because one of the two bulbs I use in each fixture in that room were burnt out in two of the three fixtures. 

I used to have several extra bulbs in the garage for the units. My brother gave me all new energy efficient ballasts a few years ago and a box of energy efficient bulbs. I went to the garage to get new bulbs and I only had one left. 

I replaced one of the burnt out bulbs and was VERY grateful that I found an entire box of the four foot energy efficient bulbs at a second hand store for $1 each. I purchased three thinking I would have extras. 

It wasn't until I arrived home and replaced the other burnt out bulb in the basement that I realized I had nine burnt out bulbs in my light fixtures in my home. 

I had two of the four in my kitchen burnt out. Lately, when I would make videos for youtube, everything came out yellow and I couldn't seem to get any good lighting. The bulbs I had in the kitchen were a yellow tint and having two of them burned out as you can clearly see in the pictures, it is no wonder that my videos were yellowish and dark.

I went back to the second hand store the next day and purchased three more bulbs so I could have some extras and needed more to replace the bulbs in the kitchen with the whiter light bulbs rather than the yellow tinted bulbs. 
I then went around the house replacing the bulbs not having realized how many lights in my home were burned out.

I used to notice when one would go out and would keep up on that but I guess my life has gotten too busy. I realized that like the "light" in my house, the "light" in my life has somewhat dimmed as well. 

I do feel somewhat "burnt out" as I am so tired with the parasites and taking care of my mother and trying to keep up on all the "to do" things that need to be done in the yard and house as well as being there for all of Princess Five's activities with Cheer, being a student body officer, dances, and everything else that it takes to be the mom to four unmarried beautiful Princesses and being a grandma when I get the opportunity to Princess and Prince One's amazing daughter as well.  

I also realized how when the lights go out one at a time, you sometimes don't notice how much dimmer it is unless you are there when the bulb burns out. It is dimmer when the lights go on so it isn't obvious that any light has lessened. 

We go along with life living in the darker places and get used to the light being darker. It gets darker and darker until we have someone point it out or we take stock and realized we have missed something for awhile. 

I think sometimes we live our spiritual lives like that as well. We slip some unkind thoughts or gossip into our world and don't realize that we are complaining more or gossiping more, swearing more and it takes someone pointing it out for us to realized how far into the darkness we have wandered. 

I know for myself, it is easy to get down on myself or others, to criticize or make fun of things others do but it isn't until the judgement is pointed at the person making the judgements or the critical person that we realize how negative we have become. Sometimes it is hard to accept when others point out that we have gotten negative or critical but I find that if I take offense or get defensive, there is usually something truthful to what they are saying. 

I use this analogy with my kids sometimes; If someone tells me I am green, I don't care what their opinion is because I know I am not green. I am not going to argue the point with them because they can think I am green, but, I know I am not so I won't argue it because it really doesn't matter what they think, I KNOW I am not green. 

However, if someone tells me I am always late (or fill in the blank with whatever sets you off) and there is some truth to it, I will try and justify, defend, get offended or argue why I am NOT always late. Why is it that we have those emotions if it wasn't true? 

We have those emotions because there is some truth to what they are saying. Either we do have issues being late or we have issues with someone in our past being late and have created some "issue" with them or it. 

We see in others what we don't like in ourselves. If someone does something you don't like, it is usually something you do or someone you have issues with, did that. 

Sometimes we get "comfortable" in the darkness as we can't see flaws clearly and "choose" to stay in the darkness where we can hide our flaws and hope others don't see them clearly or we don't have to face them ourselves. 

It was interesting that I LOVED having the white bright lights restored in the kitchen but Princess Five had gotten used to having it be a bit darker in there and wasn't sure what to think about the brighter lights. I found that I could clearly see more dirt on the floor and could see when the kitchen or the dishes weren't spotless more with the bright white lights. 

It really made me ponder what I have been hiding in the corners of my life and how easy it is to avoid seeing the spots in my world of judging myself and others for things I thought I should do or things they do do. It made me realize that I have some "spots" that I haven't been seeing clearly due to the place I have been of being "burnt out" and being too tired to do all the things I would like to do. 

I realized that I didn't have to "enlighten" myself all in one day. Even replacing the bulbs, I had to go purchase new bulbs three different times to fix all the burnt out bulbs in my home that week. I thought I had some smaller compact bulbs but used the few I had up in minutes and had to go out and purchase more. 
It was nice that I could take my time to pick up better bulbs than I had in the fixtures, making it lighter and whiter. I purchased LED bulbs as well that are cheaper to run and give off the same amount of light without as much energy.

I was able to take stock in the fixtures I have and decided that I wanted more light in one of my bathrooms and put in a new fixture with two bulbs and is more updated than the one I had. 

Sometimes it is good to "enlighten" ourselves and take stock in the "fixtures" - how much energy we are expending on a project or area of our lives and decide if it is worth the energy and time it takes and the "cost" of doing that activity at the expense of other, perhaps better, activities. Sometimes we may need to remove something from our lives entirely once we take an "enlightened" look.

Also, it is good to "enlighten" ourselves by looking at the light we are following or using. Some bulbs use 100 watts, some take 75 watts, some 60 watts. Then you can replace them and get the same light with 16 watts in a compact florescent bulb. Now, with LED bulbs, they don't get "hot" and burn you or start fires. They last about forever, they give off the same amount of light as a 60 watt bulb but, only burn 5 watts of power! 

The last thing I noticed was, that even thought some of the bulb were working and shinning brightly, the dust and dirt on the shade, glass globe etc darkened the light that was there shinning all along. The light itself wasn't dimmer but how we saw the light was dimmer. Sometimes, people around us may be shinning brightly and giving off wonderful light but due to our judgements and opinions, maybe WE aren't seeing their light clearly. We are looking at them through our dusty and old or tinted opinions. 

It is amazing to me that if we don't keep up being "enlightened" in our lives, we can find ourselves falling into darkness, expending more energy on the things that don't matter and can be "burned out," or even burned, or starting a fire if we aren't careful. 

I know this post is very metaphoric but as I spent the evening getting ladders, step stools, purchasing more and more bulbs, cleaning the dust out of fixtures, I realized I had fallen into darkness without even noticing it. I LOVE the light that is now everywhere in my home and I am grateful that we can constantly renew and asses where we are and continually improve and grow. I think that is what life is all about, growth and light. 

Lastly, I replaced the two lights that are on most of the night in my home with the 5 watt LED 60 watt equivalent and it is such a blessing. One is over my stairs and is always on so that if anyone gets up in the night, there is some light. The other is in my mothers room. She gets up and down all night and knocks things over with her cpap and oxygen hooked up so having a lamp in there could be such a fire hazard and it is a blessing to have the LED cool bulb in the lamp by her bed. I don't have to worry about her burning herself when she turns it on or off or accidentally pulling it onto her bed with all the tubes etc. 
I thought that I would like to be like those lights. On all the time for other to see, never "burning" anyone, never drawing power from others or needing too much attention, low maintenance yet giving out the same light on much less energy, lasting forever and being constant, being reliable and consistent all the time. 

There are so many metaphors for light that it is easy to see them but it was good for me to take an "enlightened" look at myself to see where I need to improve and where I need to use my energy in my life since right now it is limited. 

Is there somewhere in your life that you feel you may need enlightenment? 

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