Jake Ballard: "Take me with you, run away with me. Save me."
Olivia Pope: "You want to stand in the sun with me."
Jake Ballard: "I want us to stand in the sun together, will you do that?"
I remember sitting on my bed as I listened to the conversation shared between Jake and Olivia on ABC's Scandal and thinking, "Why is it that we are afraid to stand in the light and embrace all the glory that comes with it? Why do we intentionally tell ourselves that we are not worthy enough? Why do we hinder ourselves from the opportunity of standing firmly within that space of goodness and savoring the moment?'"
As I sat on my bed trying to absorb and unpack all these questions, I remembered that I, too, was afraid of the light. Leonard Cohen says, "There is a crack in everything. That's how light gets in." Even though this was something I had known to be true for myself, I grew comfortable with living in the dark. It had been ingrained in my mind and soul that I was simply not smart enough, bright enough or even deserving enough to, "wear the white hat." My thoughts constantly reminded me of how sub-standard I was: It had become second nature to believe that I could never be saved. No one could save me from the path of self-destruction I was on, and so I began to find solace in the darkness.
People often thought that they could somehow miraculously erase the perception I had of myself through uttering sweet and kind words to me, yet it did not matter how great or brilliant they thought I was, because I did not hold that image to be true for myself. I became what I believed: A failure who could never live up to the example of any of the great women in my life. I went through each day believing that about myself that it became almost second nature to me: I was not and could never be worthy of greatness. Negativity filled my personal space, allowing me to become complacent and comfortable with mediocrity -- after all, it required no judgement, no expectation and no false hope.
As I continued to find solace in the dark, I walked through each day not feeling, I was living without the warmth of love. Nothing compelled me to wake up in the mornings. Each day I that I was emotionless I was not able to breathe life into everything and everyone I encountered. I was just wandering through -- trying to keep afloat in order to survive -- but not living. I knew that no man was an island, yet simultaneously, I believed that I was resilient enough on my own to withstand any amount of hardship, anguish or pain. I thought that no one needed to be my savior.
But what happens when you became your own enemy? What happens where you fail to save yourself from the very darkness you created? What happens when your own fears have consumed to a point where you mistaken negativity for truth? Ask for help. For a long time I was my own enemy, my biggest critic and judge. What I have come to know for sure is that there will come a time in our lives when we no longer see the good that is within us. When that time comes, we will need a Jake. We will need someone to pull us back into the sun and away from the darkness that once consumed us. Like Olivia, we will hope that there is at least someone out there who sees the good that is left within us -- even when we may not see it for ourselves -- and to have that person remind you that you are indeed worthy enough to "wear the white hat." When that person comes to save you, stand in the sun with them. Stand so firmly that you allow nothing and no one to take that moment away from you. Absorb in all the heat, breathe life into your lungs -- embrace that moment and declare, "I am good enough."