“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
This quote I read today stunned me. Now just so you know, I’m a quote lover, a collector of quotes, and a fashioner of quotes, but rarely have I ever come across such wisdom packed in a one-liner.
The possible interpretations ricocheted through my brain like a ping-pong ball on speed. I thought yes, yes, yes! When we turn towards the sunshine, our purpose in life, shadows form at our backs. A dozen different kinds of shadows came to mind when I remembered the times I’ve pursued my heart’s desires.
There are shadows of self-doubt that plague us. We mustn’t turn around or these get us down. There are shadows that smolder with fear of failure so frightening that our arm pits get all wet and slippery.
Sometimes those shadows are the moods of others who interpret our passionate pursuits as attempts to eclipse them. Not everyone responds with a cordial “Hey that’s great! I’m happy for you…I hope you’re successful.”
Often the shadows grow so dark that we forget all about the sunshine. This quote reminded me to turn around and face the sunshine, whatever I think I’m suppose to do with my talents at the time. The image that comes to mind is me standing in the sunshine, arms lifted at my sides, and a big ole smile splashed across my face.
Yes, Ralph Waldo Emerson is right, “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine,” but we don’t have to turn around. Besides, would you want to live life any other way than facing forward?