The Light life dims once in a while. The same is true for our emotional health. Imagine you walk into an art studio to see a dim light from a single flickering candle. Around it are 13 artists, each learning how to capture the light on canvas with paint. You will see 13 different, unique interpretations of the candle.

Some see the absence of light while others only see the burning flame, holding off the darkness.

For some, the end result is literal in how they captured the image of the candle. Others may skew the image to reflect a more symbolic understanding of the dance between light and dark.

This is true of life.

We see the interpretation of all things from a uniquely crafted lens. No one view is right or wrong. It just is. Some of us see the darkness first, then learn to appreciate the brightness of the flame. Others see the flickering flame, then as the painting expands, they learn how to appreciate the compliment of the dark.

Flames dim and so do we

We can’t burn bright all the time. Humans are not meant to experience life as bright shinning lights, only being in the light. The darkness provides value that the light can’t give. The same is true for the emotional health of the ever evolving human across our lifespan.

  • In grief, we learn what love is
  • In love, we more profoundly feel the pain of loss
  • In sadness, we strive for joy
  • In surviving trauma, we work toward contentment and peace

When there is a discussion about the value or importance of which is more important, the darkness, or the light in our lives, I tend to step back. I see both. As an artist, I appreciate both.

I use the key concepts in the ‘positive psychology’ as a lens on the world of what it is to be human, but I work with people who have suffered trauma. The light dimmed on their lives, but darkness can also help provide a healthy sense of healing. Both the dark and the light of our lives are vital to our whole person development.

Illusions of dark or light

As we journey through this life time, we become shaped by our experiences and our surroundings. I didn’t pick up my first paintbrush until I had a desire to better understand the way my eldest daughter; a true artist, interpreted the world. Some of us live through experiences that change how we see the world for the rest of our lives.

There is no light or dark for them. At times, we dim the light in order to rest. It is a negotiation of both. Life is not one way or another. There is no debate to be had. Human experiences across the lifespan are a canvas. Each one of us the master artist of our own internal flame.

Nobody creates our masterpiece. We do. We each offer a unique artistry to the whole with our view on the world. Dim your light and rest once in a while. See the world from someone else’s lens. That is how we live a whole, happier life.

In Peace and Light,


Author: Karen Henry has a masters in community psychology and an advanced graduate certificate in mental health counseling. She studied subjective well-being in her doctoral dissertation. Today, K is a published author, a private practitioner, and former university instructor in the United States. Henry Healing dot com is her calling card.



“We Are The Positive Psychology People”


Find out more about positive psychology courses and training at 

Share This