As I was thinking about the power and beauty of light in our lives and beings, it struck me that the seasons of Hanukkah and Christmas are upon us, and both are imbued with the theme of light. I have always loved light, especially in the form of candles and Christmas tree lights. There is something so warming, so soothing, so lifting about light. It sews hope. It brings peace. It creates beauty. It elicits reflection. It shows us the way home.
How do we help our children cultivate this light within? How do we help them know this hope, this peace, this beauty, this reflection, this way home? How do we switch that light on? How do we keep that light on? How do we help them know that they are a light?
As parents, we can sense and honor the individual experience of our children so they feel seen, safe, and known by us. We want to help them develop the capacity to know who they are and belong but not lose their sense of individuality. It is a delicate dance. Show them kindness, compassion, and empathy. Help them walk in other people’s shoes, and know that they are not alone. Celebrate their uniqueness. Guide them in their unfolding of answering the question Who am I? Help them follow their curiosities. Cultivate their strengths. Find ways to contribute.
Something that I have become all the more aware of as my children venture out into this big, messy, complex, and marvelous world of ours is to be thoughtful about the family belief systems in which they have marinated and understand the power of those beliefs in coloring their view of themselves and the world. It is our responsibility to cultivate the grounding and the unshakeable core so that we help our children develop the capacity to flourish and shine, and to be good, loving people.
I love the knowing that there is a light within all of us to guide us, and it is our privilege to help illuminate this light in our children.
To all of you dear people, of all faiths and walks of life, may your light shine for all the world to see. May you celebrate these special festivals of light, and may the glow of each warm yours and the worlds’ heart. I see you. You are beautiful. Light a candle. Shine on. Namaste. ox