This Light Of Mine

Nobody ever told me what it meant.  It was simply a song with a catchy tune (to a ten year old) that we sat around the Girl Guides’ camp fire singing.  It was one of my favourites, but I never stopped to ask what it meant.  That was until I looked at a picture that a friend had posted yesterday of a flame burning (not this picture), and something switched on in my head.  I got it.  I finally got it.

Image credit: Jerry Jacobs/

I assumed that it must have something to do with Christianity because we sang it occasionally at Sunday School.  I still didn’t know what it meant but assumed it was something to do with the Christian idea of being a light in the world of darkness.

The song?

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine.

What it was meant to mean in Sunday School or at Girl Guides isn’t actually important to me now, because I have been gone astray with songs in such places before.  One would think that those places would check out what meaning is being transferred by singing as a child, but some of the biggest misconceptions I have had about myself came from Sunday School songs.

But back to this song.  When I saw the picture of a flame I finally occurred to me that I am the light.  The light is me.  This light of mine is me.

The light is all my thoughts and feelings.  My opinions.  My likes and dislikes.  The characteristics of me.  The light is what makes me unique.  The light is what makes me who I am…   and I should let it shine.  I should celebrate my light.

Nobody told me to let me shine.  Nobody told me to be proud of who I am.  Actually if anything, I was told the opposite.  Pride was a sin, I was told.  And “pride cometh before a fall“.  Again I knew the words but had little idea of the real meaning.

I was taught that being proud was a bad thing, so anything that celebrated who I was had to be bad too.  I went so many years believing that this was true.  And I extended it in my own head to mean that I was bad.  For a ten year old, or younger, it makes sense to follow that line of thought but it is can only end tragically.

Through so many years of pain and heartache, there was no clue in my head that I should let me shine.  Maybe I’m a little different from the rest, but I still celebrate who I am.  It doesn’t matter whether I’m different or the same.  I am me, and I should let me shine.

Maybe for others, they got the meaning of this song as a child.  For me though it was just a nice song.  I couldn’t think that it might be about letting me shine, because I thought that was a bad thing to do.  It might have taken 40 something years, but now that I’m worked it out I’m going to celebrate me.

If I can do it, so can you.  Celebrate you!

“For once, you believed in yourself. you believed you were beautiful and so did the rest of the world.” 

― Sarah Dessen, Keeping the Moon


11 thoughts on “This Light Of Mine

  1. Great post! This was one of my favorite “camp fire songs” as a child. It always made me feel warm and comfortable, and I knew it had something to do with liking myself. I agree, we all need to let ourselves shine!

  2. I immediately knew what song you were thinking about and it is now playing continuously in my head – one of my favorites. You are right, it is a celebration of YOU/ME – of our love and our faith (not necessarily Christian). I must be a lot older than you are. My recollection is from my teenage years…. LATE teenage years!

    1. I’m sorry if I planted a seed in your head. Is that a good thing, or a bad thing? Just keep singing. 🙂 As for age, I don’t think you are that much older than me. I seem to remember you had a birthday recently and you were only a couple of years ahead. Maybe my memory for dates isn’t that accurate. 😉

  3. Good Helper Woman

    Great sharing. I sing that in a high pitched hurt your ears tone just to help bring laughter to a room of gloomy peoples. And no matter how many times it is sung, smiles will always show up.
    Thanks for sharing your smile with all of us.
    We knew your light was bright the whole time!

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