In a year of social distancing, with many of us shuttered inside our homes for days on end, it’s exhilarating to finally be able to see the “light.” I’m not only talking about the end of the pandemic. For interior designers, light has so many meanings. Light fixtures are accent pieces to accentuate the tone or ambiance of a room. On a larger scale, the fixtures can play a bigger impact by guiding us through space. A poorly illuminated space is ultimately never complete. Without natural light afforded by windows, homes feel bleak, stale, and dreary. You can only imagine how it affects the people living inside light-starved abodes.
Despite the gorgeous chandeliers and decorative lamps in my apartment, it took being inside 24/7 through the winter months for me to realize I wasn’t getting enough sunlight. While I had windows in my bedroom that flooded the space with blinding light in the morning, there were no windows in my living room or kitchen. At first, I wrote affirmations to lift my light-less mood. However, even with the bedroom door open all day, the small amount of light that came through wasn’t enough.
But it was a start. With the light that was able to seep through, I was inspired to make a drastic change; I tore down (literally) the wall between my bedroom and living room. It wasn’t fun or pretty or quiet. As the sledgehammers stopped and the dust settled, the wall was all but a memory left by floor marks.
Over the next few days, I took in the new sunlight throughout the apartment. It wasn’t only uplifting, but healing and illuminating. There was an immediate sense of expansion. Taking down that wall allowed me to create space for new positive energy to circulate. When there are less walls, there is more openness and more possibility. I was finally able to rearrange, reorganize, and eliminate. But slowly, other walls inside me started crumbling.
That’s when I realized we all build walls to protect ourselves from hurt, fear, rejection, disapproval and other painful emotions. Some walls are healthy. But the invisible walls we’re often not even aware of prevent us from experiencing the honest, real relationships that can benefit us in so many ways.
It’s been a long hard year living inside during the pandemic. We may have adjusted to a new normal but for some of us, it meant building up walls to protect ourselves and survive. Now that Spring has arrived, we’re experiencing extra light in our environment that’s giving us a boost of new energy and hope. It’s up to us to know what to do with that new energy. Do we simply go outside where there are no real walls to help us stay more than six feet apart? Or do we start with spring cleaning on the inside, tearing down real or invisible walls preventing us from living our best life? Who knew a simple 6” thick sheetrock wall would be such a metaphor for so many facets of growing. By shedding this new layer, my future growth personally and professionally has the best reward, perfecting the best version of myself. This is my light at the end of the tunnel!