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  • Lara Krawchuk, LCSW, MPH

Choosing Light

Things these days feel very dark. I have been struggling to make sense of the pain, rage, and incredible injustice in our country. I have witnessed its awful impact through my work with grieving parents and in teaching social work classes on grief, loss and trauma. I have railed against it, picked fights with those who I felt fueled it, and have felt small and helpless because of it. Racism and injustice are not new in this country. We rarely find effective ways to truly listen and work together to address the many systemic issues that need to change. Instead, we ignore or shame the pain experienced by people of color across the nation. We argue about whether kneeling peacefully at a football game is permissible, beat our chests, and scream opposing opinions at one another. None of this helps. Again, and again we fail to really listen, fail to act. The darkness has relentlessly expanded. It blocks our common humanity, our connection, our light. Today rage, fear and grief combine into a toxic stew of raw emotion; exploding on streets across the nation. Still we point fingers at one another. The darkness expands yet again. My heart breaks.

This morning I say no to the darkness. I sit in a sun filled corner of my porch and drink in light. I need it to illuminate my path going forward. I have long been inspired by American poet, Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno, who wrote a powerful, haunting book of poetry after the brutal murder of her daughter, Leidy. To hear her incredible interview with Terry Gross visit https://www.npr.org/transcripts/111218053. The final poem in this exquisite work is called “Poem About Light”. In this poem, this author and grieving mother, reminds us that light can never be strangled or shut out. She chastens those who lurk in the dark and reminds us that; “The sun makes its own history; light has its way.” I choose the way of light.

Throughout my history, I have been inspired by leaders who fought great darkness with light; Elie Wiesel, Tarana Burke, Greta Thunberg, Nelson Mandela, Harriet Tubman, Anne Frank, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Rami Elhanan, Ghazi Briegeith, Caecillia Loots, Thich Nhat Hanh, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Eve Ensler, Maria AgneseTribbioli, Malala Yousafzais, Lucretia Mott, Martin Luther King, and many others. The list is long and inspiring. Look them up. They chose light.

I do not claim to have any answers about how to heal all that divides us in this nation, but I know that I care deeply, am committed to being part of the solution, care deeply about the grief and pain of families impacted by dark forces of injustice. I have the gift of choices and I can make good ones. Today, I choose to follow the light, within me, around me, and in all of you. It is the thing that makes sense to me. The antidote to darkness. An unbreakable force for growth. I can work harder towards healing and improving our nation. I can lean towards goodness. Choose to turn away from darkness and follow the light like so many before me. I trust that light will help me find my way and I invite you to join me.


If you or someone you know is struggling to make sense of the world we are living in, reach out for extra support. Therapists all over this nation are working online. We, at Healing Concepts, LLC, are here to help. Help is near. Call us today at 610-209-3111. One of our talented, compassionate and creative therapists will be honored to get you started finding your path to healing!

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