As the winter days limit our exposure to light, coming to fruition on December 21st have faith that something monumental is incubating deep within all of us. A seed of light deep at the centre of our heart is re-remembering its source.

As we gear up for the holiday season, frequently followed by the winter blahs, it’s natural to want look outside of ourselves for satisfaction, validation, or merely a distraction. We go to great lengths to turn on the light outside of ourselves, be it our trees, our homes, a menorah, or whatever cultural or religious belief encourages our remembrance of the light within us.

I welcome with fascination and curiosity all cultures that seek to find the light in the darkness and the symbiotic balance between the two. But I would also like to acknowledge the power of our own inner light running parallel to celebrations such as Christmas, Channukah, or Diwali (the Hindu Festival of Light), so that we can see the duality of darkness and light manifested symbolically in all aspects of creation.

I challenge all of you to move beyond this duality and recognize that each and every one of us on this planet, 6.5 billion strong and growing, are a source of light that permeates from within each of our heart centres. It is incredibly empowering to realize that we don’t need to bring anything in from outside of us. We have all that we need from before the beginning of time, made manifest as a spark of light that ignited us into existence.

Could the most powerful star in our universe be at the heart of this light source? Is the birth of this star which gives life, light, warmth, and illuminates all things, the true ‘Sun’ that was seeded into humankind eons ago? Is it not time for us to wake up to the reality that we are each sovereign states in our own right, experiencing this reality to deepen our understanding of the power and magnitude of infinite and unconditional love?

Allow me to expand on this by borrowing from the words of Mowlana Jallaledin Mohamed Rumi, the thirteenth century Persian prophet and poet:

‘If you have illusions about heaven lose them.
The soul learned of one attribute of Love and came to earth.
A hundred attributes of heaven could never charm her back.
It is here the soul learns the reality of Love.’

In the daily grind of raising children, supporting elderly parents, partners, friends, loved ones and going to work to pay the bills and eke out a few pleasures in between, we lose sight of the lessons and joys hidden in plain sight. The human bodysuit can feel like a burden. One merely has to look at an aging parent or grandparent to witness firsthand how our body seems to betray us as we age. But this ride we signed up for is so much more than the linear viewpoint that we’re born, we live, we die.

As I feel Rumi’s immortal words wash over me, I realize that right here and now is where the greatest learning and growth can occur. It is through the challenges of making peace with the more unpleasant aspects of life and the fellow humans we encounter along the way that we learn what Love actually is. If you can find it in your heart to forgive, let go of old grievances and truly see yourself in each and everyone – loved ones and enemies alike–then you will know Heaven on Earth. This is the true gift we can give ourselves and each other – an opportunity for transcendence and liberation in this life and beyond.

‘We are stardust, we are golden, 
We are billion year old carbon, 
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.’
~ Joni Mitchell

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Alexandra Nedergaard
December 14th 2010