Chanukah always comes just as we enter the winter season. It’s a reminder on how to survive the winter- or dark spaces of life. The answer: Turn on the light!

This week a few patients have been talking about looking for their purpose in life- they are sad, frustrated and in despair because they can’t find their mission. They’ve tried so many things or various jobs that just haven’t worked out. Their pain is real and deep. My answer to one woman was: “You’re looking for a mission? That’s fantastic! You’re already ahead because you understand you HAVE a purpose here and you’re yearning to give it.” I found the positive aspect of her struggle- I turned on the light, and now she had a little bit of joy in her heart and could think more clearly, and realize that she wasn’t as lost as she thought.

Chanukah also celebrates victory. We’re so focused on our losses and what we’re doing wrong. How about what you’re doing right?! Celebrate your wins. Acknowledge all that is good. Once you acknowledge one good thing about yourself or your situation, you will naturally think of another good thing, and so on and so forth- until you have strung a virtual necklace of goodness that can’t help but make you happy, motivated, and inspire you for more good in your life.

This is one of the main lessons of the great mystic and healer, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov. Focusing on the good- on what’s positive- in ourselves and in our most difficult situations- will be our salvation. This is a most important lesson for winter when it’s dark, cold and hard to find light. It takes one positive thought to turn on the light.

One positive thought is your way out the dark- find one purpose for your struggle- whether it’s about the painful shots your partner has to give you on your fertility journey (that is perhaps strengthening your marriage?); the IBS flare-up that is draining your energy (that is a call to self-care and compassion?); the job interview that didn’t go your way (perhaps the better one is around the corner?); the feelings of loss (that help you appreciate all that you have?)….

No matter the pain or darkness in your life- attempt to find the light/good in it, it will be the key to open the door to the remedy.

 

Happy Chanukah, with blessings of Great Light and Healing,

Dr. Miriam Pineles, DACM

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