Christina Sell used a great example of money, "You can take a dollar bill, crumple it up, stomp on it and even send it through the washer, and still that dollar bill maintains its value. So, too, as we examine our own history and the ways we may have been crumpled, stomped on and put through the rinse cycle more than a few times and still we remain valuable." This brings me comfort!
I used the example of a lamp while teaching this week. The light bulb shines light and emits a radiant brightness. There is a shade to cover the bulb which makes the light appear less bright. I like to think of the shade as my mood. What commonly happens is I miss my light and connect instead with my mood. When I am sad I connect with that sad feeling. When I am happy I connect with that happy feeling. When I just see the shade my mood bounces around like a ball in a pin ball machine. I am learning to see that the light is always present shining behind my mood, and to recognize and start connecting with the light more. When I am practicing this I remain more stable because instead of hoping around from lamp shade to lamp shade I am connecting to the essence of the light bulb that shines behind any color of shade.
This reminds me of the last two lines of the Anusara Invocation + translation from JF:
Is never absent, full of peace
Ultimately free and sparkles with a divine luster