life lessons Poetry Publishing

Finding Clarity: Reflections on Light

Let’s start with a poem.


Love is light,
And so is the absence of love.
It is both the way we are remembered
And casually forgotten.
It is the loyalty of a heart.
It is the betrayal of a promise.
Light is darkness and the flame.
It is a face in full sun
And a face wet with rain.
Light is the climb and the descent.
Both hunger pains and a belly full of bread.
I see it in your eyes.
I hear it in your words.
I hold it in your absence.
I be it in rebirth.

The Dual Nature of Light: Clarity and Shadows

When we think of light, we often envision clarity and warmth. It’s the glow of the sun on our faces, the flame that lights our path. 

Yet, light also reveals shadows, those hidden parts of ourselves and our relationships that we may not always wish to see. Just as love can bring us closer to others, it can also expose our vulnerabilities and fears.

Light as a Metaphor for Clarity

In this poem, light is a metaphor for clarity, a way to find our path in the darkness. In moments of confusion or doubt, it’s the light of understanding that guides us. 

As we navigate the complexities of life, finding clarity becomes crucial. We seek to understand our feelings, our relationships, and our place in the world.

Illuminating Hidden Truths

Both love and fear have the power to uncover hidden truths in our lives. Love reveals our capacity for deep connection, kindness, and selflessness, shedding light on the positive aspects of our relationships and interactions.

It can bring to the surface the ways we cherish and support others, highlighting the strengths we might not always recognize.

Conversely, fear exposes our vulnerabilities, insecurities, and the darker aspects of our experiences. It forces us to confront the issues we’ve avoided, revealing the areas where we need growth or healing. 

Together, love and fear act as illuminating forces, helping us to better understand ourselves and the world around us. By acknowledging both, we gain a more comprehensive and truthful perspective on our lives.

Finding Clarity in Both Presence and Absence

In the final lines of the poem “Epiphany,” we are reminded of the subtle ways we can find clarity through the words and deeds of others. “I see it in your eyes” suggests that body language often tells us profound truths that words might miss. 

“I hear it in your voice” emphasizes that both what is said and what is left unsaid can reveal deep insights into our relationships and experiences. “I hold it in your absence” highlights how actions, especially the lack thereof, can speak volumes and provide clarity about what truly matters. 

Finally, “I be it in rebirth” signifies that we can find light and clarity as we rebuild our lives after difficult times. By seeking light in both the presence and absence of things, we open ourselves to constant epiphanies. 

There is always light, even in the pitch-black darkness. In fact, the darkness itself can be a source of light. Your pain speaks as loudly as your joy, revealing deep truths.

Both the living and the dead illuminate wisdom and understanding. No matter where you are, there is light. Look for the lessons in every situation—they are the way forward.

The poem featured in this blog post is from my upcoming collection, “If You’re Looking for Brightness: Words on Light and Where to Find It,” coming in 2024.

Therapeutic Writing Prompts

20 journaling prompts to gain clarity and move forward.

Feeling stuck? Indecisive? Got a serious case of brain fog going on? Feel like you’ve lost your bearings? Dropped the map? 

Having a lack of clarity and being confused about what to do next can be distressing. If you’re in the very human stare of being doubtful, double minded, blocked, trapped, frozen – connection and reflection can help. Journaling is a way we can reconnect with our inner compass and reflect on why we feel the way we feel. It provides a way to listen to ourselves and uncover the secrets of the heart. 

“Writing is thinking. To write well is to think clearly. That’s why it’s so hard.”

David McCullough

When writing for therapeutic purposes, remember honesty is king, non-judgement is queen and all emotion is welcome. Read what you have written, ponder and where possible expand on your answers. Expose your fear and understand that all you’re mining for is ‘the next step’. These prompts are not about making a life plan or figuring out the reason for your existence. They are a tool to help you up, out of the mind mud and on your way.

You can use each prompt at different times or in one long journaling session. Don’t rush. Don’t edit your spelling or grammar. If pain is triggered, and you feel yourself entering a dark place, leave the task for later. Find a quiet, comfy spot and commence.

  1. What is important to you?
  2. When do you feel most energized?
  3. Finish this sentence. If I was really courageous I would……
  4. Visualize the person you desire to be. What three words describe that person? 
  5. What frames your identity? 
  6. When it comes to making decisions, what do you find challenging?
  7. What do you have that you might have underestimated or overlooked?
  8. What do you need to stop doing that would improve your happiness?
  9. Clarity comes when we unclutter our lives. What can you remove from your life that isn’t important?
  10. What are you really good at?
  11. How do you define success?
  12. What are you the most enthusiastic about? If you are not enthusiastic about anything, remember a time when you were, what changed?
  13. What does your ideal day look like?
  14. What could your pain be teaching you?
  15. Imagine peace was a person. What would they say to you? If you were to follow them, where would they lead?
  16. What do you want to learn more about?
  17. When was the last time you felt a sense of accomplishment?
  18. What could you create, make, produce that would help you express yourself.
  19. Pain can paralyse. Write a few sentences and tell your future self what you did/will do with pain so he/she can be strong.
  20. What can you do to show kindness to yourself today?

When clarity is needed, jotting down my thoughts, fears, and frustrations leads me to see what I can do next. I also take wisdom from nature. Growth seems to happen effortlessly for anything with branches or leaves. Often I take a journal and pen outside. This is what nature has shown me about moving forward.

As the creeping fig reaches, she teaches. 
I write down her gentle instruction.
‘Love aligns,
And creativity is the key
to becoming unstuck.’

You can find more journaling prompts on processing your thoughts here or contact me about the unique therapeutic program ‘Write to Rise‘.

Write to Rise

Numerous studies have proven the value of therapeutic writing. Research shows it strengthens mental, emotional, and physical health, by reducing stress, regulating emotions, boosting memory and improving overall wellbeing.

The unique program ‘Write to Rise’ was crafted to assist participants to breakthrough in areas of their lives. Lauren leads individuals/groups through a series of writing exercises aimed to unlock creativity, draw out courage and increase clarity and self-awareness.