Last night I dreamt I was flying. I was in a sporting good’s store, and on my way to the check-out register, but let me back up a bit. Before I started flying, I had been with Ann and Margo, two characters from my memoir, A Girl Named Truth. Briefly, I was fourteen again, and I could overhear my two former friends gossiping about me. Instead of keeping silent, though, and internalizing my hurt, I spoke up. “I know what you’re saying,” I told them, “and I really don’t care.” And, truthfully, I didn’t. Something inside of me had changed. I had become detached from the weight of their words, realizing they did not define me.
As I walked away, my feet began to lift off the ground and I began to fly. Effortlessly, and with a joy that defies gravity, I navigated my way to the front of the store where I found a queue of individuals who were waiting to “check-out.”
“It is not difficult,” I told them as they looked up at me with awe and doubt. “You can learn to do it too.”
In my forthcoming book, The Labyrinth, there is a thirteen-year-old character named Dell. She is one of the six “warriors of light” protagonists who must overcome their inner fears and challenges to use their gifts for a larger purpose. Like me, Dell was once bullied by her two former best friends.
Playful by nature, Dell is filled with an inner joy that is difficult to destroy. It is almost as though that very joy, that light, is what her former friends are afraid of and seek to diminish. Perhaps they do not realize that same light resides within them too.
We all have a Dell aspect of ourselves. The inner child who represents our true selves resides in each of us. I don’t believe there is anyone on the planet who has not faced adversity, causing their inner light to be overshadowed in some way.
Adversity rises to test the light. It throws a deliberate shroud over its source, and sometimes those who find themselves inside of its darkness lose hope of connecting to that inner joy again. Many of these people are still children themselves, like Dell, on the cusp of adulthood who have already forgotten they have that innate gift to soar.
They may feel broken, lost, and alone. In a world that chooses to reflect more darkness than light, that hopeless can spread throughout the channels of light that reside in all of us, leading to the despair of disconnection.
If you look at the cover of The Labyrinth, you will see the network of light leading to the center. If you look closely, you will notice that light has been cut off by darkness in many places. Dell and her five friends stand at the edges, each carrying the light of their individual selves. A pillar of unwavering light rises from the center. Each warrior, each individual who stands on the edge of the darkness, has the power to reach that inner beam of light. And, as these six discover, we never have to walk that path alone.