There are many traditional stories that share how light came to the world. These stories usually begin with a time of hardship where people suffer because they cannot see and function in world of darkness. This time of hardship can be metaphorical for how we sometimes find ourselves, not being able to see our life clearly and not being able to find our way or see our future.
We must find light to improve our life. Light can be a metaphor for goodness, making dark its opposite, evil. Light could symbolize knowledge and dark then being ignorance. Light could represent sobriety and darkness, addiction. The dichotomy of these opposites asks us to identify them and try to reach a higher place, raising ourselves from one plain way of being to another.
People in treatment are trying to accomplish the same task and might find guidance as to how to make this transition. In using the story as a source of inspiration and wisdom they might also recognize that their efforts to transform to a better place are universal and they are not alone.
As we have discussed before, metaphor in story is a powerful teaching and learning tool. Metaphor, simply defined, is when something lesser represents something greater. So we can be using the term “light” as a metaphor for the better thing we seek. It becomes the goal we seek in our life transformation and helps us understand and explain it in a different way, not tied to the real-life struggles we must confront. Raven or Ant or Bear and their behaviors could be a metaphor for us and our lives. Through metaphor we can see our lives and problems from a different story perspective and perhaps see answers and solutions in those metaphors as well.
Look at the following stories from the Pacific Northwest Coast and see if there are any themes that emerge as to how we can bring light into our world.