This is the season of celebration. Yet many of us are finding them – well – hard to find. These days darkness is trying to sneak into our lives as both our daylight and our spirits grow shorter and darker.
In my part of the world, we are approaching the shortest day of the year (December 21st). The sun sets around 4:30 pm and nightfall covers us like a heavy blanket. And after a year of worry and fear, many of us feel a kind of emotional darkness, too.
Must I really wait for the earth to rotate back around toward sun before my spirits lift? I want…no, I NEED all the light I can find right now!
We Like Light. We Need Light
When I enter a room, I turn on the lights. I turn on all the lights. I confess, I even keep them on when I leave, so I’m greeted by light when I return. And yes, my eco-conscience husband follows behind me trying to turn them off. These days I won’t have it. I am keeping them on. 😊
Life gets better immediately when we bring light into it. It is essential for our well-being in every aspect of our lives:
- People, animals, flowers and trees seek out light for growth.
- Science confirms that light positively affects our nervous system. It helps to regulate our happiness and sadness.
- Psychology explains that light encourages us and gives a sense of well-being.
- Spirituality uses “Light” to illustrate hope. God is our “Light” and we are taught to be a light to the world.
We are Naturally Drawn to Light
Look around and you’ll notice our attraction (our addiction) to light! We’ve designed wide open spaces with big windows to satisfy our craving for light. We have motion detector lights, solar lights and lights set on timers. We “clap-on-clap-off” our lights. We even choose the cities we live in, and vacations we go on, based on the sunshine promised to us.
This year, in particular, I noticed people stringing up their holiday lights earlier than usual, and not just because the commercial holiday season demands it. Perhaps this year we need a lot more light and cheering up.
Light is Knitted Together with Our Celebrations
We celebrate life with lights. We have so many special rituals and holidays that we celebrate with lights, especially during the darker months. They hint that something special is happening. We hang lights on our Christmas tree, light the menorah candles at Chanukah, and blow out tiny candles on our birthday cake. We know how to celebrate with twinkling, candle, sun and star light!
It’s important to CELEBRATE! Celebrations are more than the food and fun. They cause us to pause, to savor the good stuff. Celebrations buffer out the stressors of life. It’s a sad day indeed when we stop celebrating the big and small moments in our life. Whether we celebrate in rowdy, happy groups (remember, way back when) or quietly in our hearts, we must keep celebrating life and living.
Lights Connect Us to Life
Lights are a vital expression and connection of our celebrations and our everyday life. When we turn on the lights, we create “room” to celebrate in our physical space and in our hearts. When we turn on the lights, we actually convert energy to power and heat.
Think about that: light brings energy and warmth into our life. We warm up and energize our emotions, too. Light sends darkness out. It keeps us from “falling” physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Does Light Bother You?
Sometimes light surprises us. Then we quickly cover our eyes or pull the covers over our head. In a way, light can feel a little threatening if it exposes things we don’t want to see. (Who doesn’t’ prefer to be seen in soft candlelight instead of garish fluorescent lighting!) Shining a light on our worries and fears is intimidating, too. So if you find yourself seeking refuge in cozy dark places for peace and quiet, you can still find ways to connect light.
A Powerful Glimmer of Hope
Even the smallest glimmer of light keeps the pilot light of HOPE on. What matters is that we celebrate with whatever light remains: a candle is a symbol of hope, a single star can show the way, and even the constant glow from your electronics can remind you to celebrate our unlimited connection to not only the world wide web, but the whole wide world. Light is a celebration of life.
So now, go out of your way to turn on the lights and celebrate life. Make life better and brighter. Create a space of positive energy. And be a light in someone’s life, especially your own.