Candle or Mirror – Which Are You?


"There are two ways of spreading light – to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." Edith Wharton, American Writer

This quote begs the question, "Which are you – the candle or the mirror?"

As the candle, you are the light. You brighten shadows and darkness. Your light shines who you are and what you stand for. If there is positivity, joyfulness, hope, helpfulness, and constructiveness, then that is what your light will cast. If there is negativity, intent to harm, or hurtfulness, then that is the light that is cast. What is already in you, becomes what others emulate or reflect from you.

As the mirror, you are the reflection. You reflect what's in your soul. You reflect what you surround yourself with. You are not good or bad, negative or positive, right or wrong – you simply reflect what is already there.

Being a person that brightens a room rather than a person that darkens a room is generally based on whether or not you are grateful and thankful.

The difference between gratefulness and thankfulness is simply inward and outward. Gratefulness is a feeling of appreciation. It comes from within your soul. It comes from appreciating what you have, from knowing that you are already blessed. Thankfulness is an expression of being thankful of receiving a benefit. It commands a giver and a receiver.

By cultivating gratefulness, you shine an attitude that lights up the world, an attitude that changes people, an attitude that changes society. You cultivate the person you want everyone else to be because you ultimately know you are already rich beyond measure – you are truly happy because you are grateful with life.

By cultivating thankfulness, you reflect love, peace, and harmony. You are thankful for the part others play in your life – both loved ones and strangers alike. You know that every single human being brings something to the table and you simply are thankful for what they give– no matter how small or large, tangible or intangible, monetary value or no monetary value. You are simply thankful because you know they contributed something to your life – positive or negative – something was contributed that you choose to be thankful for.

Having the feeling of gratefulness and the expression of thankfulness is a choice for each of us to make. It is our free will to choose how we feel and what we express. When we choose to feel grateful and we choose to express thankfulness, we choose to be of love, light, peace, harmony, and joy.

We are always both the candle and the mirror. As the candle, the light you choose to cast is your choice. Just know that your mirror reflects that choice, so choose to reflect the best light you have to reflect.

Janine Holman


Janine Holman is a freelance writer, photographer, and travel blogger - founder of Life Beyond Awesome – a site of travel journeys for adventurers, foodies, and lovers of luxurious things.  Her stories cover both local and international travel and focus on diving into cultures and communities and the people who make them thrive.  She invests time in learning how to best travel on a dime – being money smart and maximizing travel dollars while still enjoying the luxurious side of life (spas, restaurants, quaint places to stay, etc.).  Janine covers all kinds of topics and is known for being adventurous, enjoying the outdoors, and embarking down the path less traveled.  Most of all Janine enjoys sharing her life’s adventures and showing others how they too can design a Life Beyond Awesome.