Luminous Darkness and Holding My Thumb
Syndicated from, Apr 26, 2024

4 minute read


I was asked to share one story from my life when I could remember my heart really expanding. And as I looked over the course of my life, I couldn't find one thing that stood out. What I saw was, what many of you will know actually, which is deep suffering and how light is so intimately connected with the dark. It's luminous darkness. It's a deep light. And the way that our suffering breaks us open so that we may be able to receive that light. And it's not owned, right? It's not our light. It's not my light. It is the light of existence. And it's able to come through us I think, when we meet our suffering. And so I did -- I had a huge amount of suffering in my time, and, at the risk of sounding cliché or trite, it made me. And I'm so deeply grateful for it.

As I look back and tried to find one experience that expanded my heart, I saw myself as a little girl. Gangs used to break into our house, and they had to do certain things to get into the gang. They would be given tasks. And one of the things they did one night was -- they knew that it was just me and mom. She was a single parent and the task was to rape her in front of me so that they could get into the gang. They didn't, because I called the police. (I was eight.) And they ran away. But the next day at school, I went and I stood under a big tree and all of my friends were playing. I was eight years old. And I looked at my thumb and I couldn't tell them things like this 'cause it was a nice school. And I was from the poor neighborhood. And so I looked at my thumb and I said to myself, Lucy, don't worry, it's really hard now, but this thumb is part of your future. This thumb exists on the adult that you are gonna be when you make your life better for yourself. And so I held that thumb and I felt like, here's a piece of my life when it's good. It's not good now, but it will be.

I used to hold my thumb often.

That's a really small story about my heart expanding. But what was behind that was a sense in me of saying, "Yes" -- yes to suffering. And I've had that a lot. I had years of illness where I was bedridden. Many, many, many things that I won't go into. And each of you will have your own suffering. People who have passed, hearts broken rejections, the ways that life brings us to our knees. And there's something magical that happens in the alchemy of suffering. When we open our hearts and say yes from a really earnest place, God enters through the wound. That is in our control. The places where we push against and say no to suffering, that's when we hurt. But our comfort is not nature's priority. Emergence is. Our deepening is. And we always have the opportunity to say, let this open me. Let this deepen me. Let this burn me into being, not in an insincere way. This is between us and us -- God and us -- but we know when we do this. And to lean back, to fall back into grace, and let all that we are tend the human in her suffering that is always within our reach.

So as I was thinking of one experience, that's what came to me: the yes within every experience. To illustrate that broken open-heartedness and the beauty and the bounty in our suffering -- the blessings that we get without breaking. I wanted to just end with a poem, because that's my language. Some of you are artists. I'm a writer. I'm a poet, so I'm going finish with one poem that describes this feeling:

When I need sound healing

I bathe in cicada hum.

When I need ministry
I let the grass lavish
it’s deep devotion
upon me
and the dew
drip its sermons
right into my heart.

I anoint my feet
in puddles and I
praise mud.

I was never alone.
who am I fooling?

I was fathered by mountains,
mothered by ocean

I was taught by landslides,
and caught by the woman
I became, during them.

Stars serenade me
with their chorus of hallelujah’s,
offer themselves up
as pin-pricks
of wonder and guidance
in the darkness

Trees salute me, stand
guard and strengthen me
offer their wisdom
– if I’m listening.

I am.
all existence.

My friends are rocks and
praying mantises, I thread
their hearts through mine, like
an endless chain

Let the sky teach me loyalty
to warmth AND shadow
– the humility of hail
and the sanctity of



And through it all


from magma – up

through the soles
of me

I give the Mother
my body, for colonising

we are
ember and water,
– all at once

we are

just like this
with our limping, broken
hearts – full of fear

We are
and are
and are

sacred mess.
perfect process.

For this and another
thousand reasons

we are


For more inspiration, join this weekend's Awakin Call with Lucy Grace. RSVP and details here.


Lucy Grace is a mystic, spiritual guide, holistic therapist and poet based in New Zealand. She is the author of This Untameable Light and sees life as an ongoing practice to embody realisation. We can only give, what we embody. She has lived many lives – including as a television journalist for New Zealand’s largest national news channel One News, and a humanitarian aid worker based in Europe for 15 years working for UNICEF, Save the Children, Fairtrade and Oxfam. She worked in orphanages and disaster zones around the world helping to bring relief to peoples suffering. Lucy now focuses on her work as a spiritual guide, therapist and poet.