Letter to a loved one who has forgotten her light

bright sun

Dear one —

I know the place you walk is frightening, frustrating, filled with things you do not say that haunt you in the quiet. I imagine the many days you feel alone, wanting the solace of someone to ease what you carry or to simply sit with you where your pain breathes — to witness it, and let it speak, no matter how jumbled or scattered the words.

You, so joyful and reliable. The sun that others turn to, when the shadows of sickness and sorrow close in. You are there, always with a smile, the support, the kindness you cannot help.

Now you need what you give. Yet you wrap yourself up, tuck your tenderness away to escape worried glances, the litanies of try this and do that. You would burden no one, shudder to think of setting your fears and regrets before them even as you long for the smoothing of their edges. What if they find fault with your choices? Ply you with expectation? Hover so close that you shrink back into yourself?

There is much you know: unresolved grief will have its way, the past cannot be rearranged, indecision is a trap. You know that unfinished relationships will track their footsteps where you’re sure they don’t belong. That all that rattling, the clack of old stories and even older hurts, is begging you for you. lotus

Your life is an ache that thrums through every day, a lament that lifts with fleeting laughter, distracting busyness and the optimism you force into different shapes to find a solid fit.

I will not pretend to fully understand, to place you where I have been to try to see where you are. I will not presume to know where your path is leading or rush ahead to markers that may never be there, though you crave a compass.

Of course, I can tell you things. I haven’t forgotten the wild heat of jagged discomfort, the collapse that comes with a roar when the whispers from every box stacked on every shelf will no longer be ignored. I have outrun my truth and crawled back, bruised and exhausted, to claim it. I have submerged myself into the gulf of my own mystery, wary, at last, of the surface glint of light, wanting to hold the flame. And I have danced in the swirl of ashes from what had to be burned away.

I know there is no end to the territories we may travel in this country, that transformation comes in waves.

butterflyBut this is your invitation. Your journey.

You have already said yes to what beckons, though you may feel more prodded than empowered.

You have already shown courage, though there are days it trails behind you.

You weep and you hide. You despair and you flounder. You fall into the familiar, in a groove you never defined.

And still healing comes. Forgiveness finds you.

You live your way into joy.

And I remain, holding the space, for your reclaimed freedom, your divine and radiant rebirth.

From my heart to yours,




6 thoughts on “Letter to a loved one who has forgotten her light

  1. I am always amazed by the depth of your insights and feelings, dearest Naila, and how you so eloquently express them! This is so poignant! May we all shine our lights. Now I know why you love lighthouses so much! xoxo Susan


    • Thank you, dearest Susan. You were such a light for me when I first met you all those years ago and I’m ever grateful that you continue to illuminate my path. Much love and big hugs to you!


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