It’s raining as I type this, which on the one hand I’m thrilled about because California needs rain. On the other hand, I have seasonal affective disorder (SAD) so when it rains my mood plummets and I feel mildly depressed. To counter the depression, I pulled out my SAD lamp and strung up fairy lights.
I find it especially poetic that I’m bringing more literal light into my life as right now it’s also Hanukkah. To celebrate Hanukkah, Jews all over the world light candles for eight days. One of the principles of Hanukkah is the idea that one candle may kindle the light of many others and yet lose none of its own light. I like that idea. I think especially right now as we’re facing surging COVID-19 numbers and many of us are unable to celebrate the holidays as we normally do, there’s something important about being a light, spreading light, but also recognizing darkness.
Candles are most effective in the dark. Fairy lights are the most appealing when other lights are off. You can’t have lightness and brightness without darkness. There’s a writer I like named Jeff Brown who discusses this. He says:
“Real spirituality is all about ‘enrealment’ – it includes everything human in the equation. The real now is the one that includes everything we left behind on the path. We must work through our story, before the unresolved elements of our story kill us.”
Yes! My spiritual path is about using everything as a vehicle for liberation or enlightenment. About not running from feelings and tough times, and yet always remembering there is something more to me. Something outside the drama, the ups and downs, a witnessing part of me that remains unaffected and emits a light that can never be diminished. It’s my goal to keep growing that light, to keep remembering its presence, and to kindle that light in others.
We each have a light within us that is longing to burn ever brighter, to radiate within ourselves and those around us. In this holiday season, may you also remember the light being that you are. May you remember you are more than the sum of your parts, and may you also endeavor to shine a light on all parts of yourself.
The more you and I can do that, the more we can create a world we wish to see. One where we celebrate with one another, but also mourn with one another because instead of trying to bypass the hard, challenging, shadow parts of ourselves and this world, we acknowledge them. We acknowledge them and we bring light to them, which transforms them.
I dream of a world where we remember our brightness and we share that brightness with others. A world where we’re not scared of shadows because shadows are where light is most needed. A world where we embrace all parts of ourselves as we kindle the flame of “enrealment.” A world where we’re able to be the light.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.