Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Do You Have a Nightlight?

One of the things that parents often do for children is provide them with a nightlight in case they get up in the middle of the night.  It’s that tiny glimmer of light that allows us to navigate in the dark.  I have one in my bedroom because my dogs sleep on the floor on my side of the bed.  The last thing I want is to step on them if I get up in the middle of the night (did it once…not fun).  I actually think the dogs like it too because they can also navigate to re-position themselves to a more comfortable spot.

Fast forward to your current life where following your diagnosis of a chronic or other life-altering illness you may have been thrown into a dark place.  It may not only feel dark physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.  It’s important when newly diagnosed to find that little bit of light that will guide you on your journey to health and healing.  The nightlight can be those little bits of information, words of comfort, or specks of inspiration that give you something to focus on and guides you to safety.

Think about airplanes.  When flight attendants go through their safety demonstration they talk about ways to safety if the power goes out and it’s dark.  They tell you that red lights lead to green (or it’s the other way around) and that change in color marks an exit.  It provides you enough guidance that in case of an emergency you can find safety.  It’s important to find safety on the mind, body, and spirit levels because they work together in harmony to promote wellness.

Let’s face it; the dark is a scary place.  It allows us to conjure up all kinds of stories with doomsday endings.  Creating a point that serves as a nightlight is to provide you with hope and a sense of possibility.  It helps to give you direction when you may feel lost in the dark.  The nightlight is a person, place, or thing (no we’re not playing 20 questions) that catches your attention and draws you to it as a beacon. 

What do you use as a nightlight?  I’m hoping you’ll share your experiences so we can all be each others nightlight!


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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