Recently, while talking to my fourteen-year-old, I was trying to explain to her the importance of learning control over our reactions, and the power we have when fighting negative thoughts and environments. Our conversation naturally geared to examples we’ve read about in books, and unexpectedly (or maybe not so unexpectedly) it landed on Harry Potter.
It was quite serendipitous when we realized the stark contrast between negativity (in thoughts, actions, and reactions) with the very real draining of energy, and life, dementors have in the world of wizards. It is only by forcefully activating their happiest memories that the characters of that world can overcome the power of dementors.
So it is in our life.
The power of our positive thinking, our positive actions, and our positive reactions can help us overcome our own personal dementors. These monsters of shadow may come and go, may hover around our personal space, may ambush us at any moment, or in some cases even stay with us for long periods of time. But we have the power to dispel them. We can activate the light of our will, reject their draining effect, and shun them away with positive thoughts, actions, and reactions.
Perfecting this will take practice.
Neither Harry, not any of the other characters, mastered the power of their Patronuses the first time, or even the second. Sometimes it took many days of effort and practice, but all who practiced and put forth effort, achieved it in the end. I truly believe we hold more power and are capable of more strength than we are even aware of. But we have to purposefully, and yes, even forcefully, choose to see the good, to focus on the positive, to desperately hold onto that thread of happiness and light. Only then will we be able to truly dispel our personal dementors, and maybe even help others do the same.
Light is meant to be shared.
We all have different talents and abilities, ways of analyzing things, and approaches to dealing with hardship. And the most important thing is, we aren’t alone. We can and should lean on each other. I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes my Patronus isn’t strong enough, and other times I am the one holding that light for someone else who’s struggling. When our family does “No Lights November Week” (no electricity for 7 days), every single candle lit is shared equally by all who are in a room. Because light doesn’t discriminate. Light exist to dispel darkness. And our light (our Patronus), no mater what kind of light it is (or what Patronus shape it takes), is important, even needed by those around us.
So take courage, focus on the good, practice the power of your light, and share it with others. Dementors can only hurt us, when our Patronuses are too weak to fight them. So again, practice the power of your will. Be fierce. You have more light and power than you know.
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