At first glance, the American celebration of Veteran’s Day may not seem to have much in common with the Hindu celebration of Diwali. But, as Diwali, a celebration of light triumphing over darkness, overlaps with Veteran’s Day this year, I have been thinking about the fact that many people who join the military do so in order to stand against darkness in the world (the cost of that is a story for another day). I see these two celebrations, which seem so distant from one another on the surface, and I see the connecting thread of choosing to hold a light against the darkness.
I believe that each of us has the choice and the chance to hold our light against the darkness. That light may be in the small choices that we make. We can offer a smile to a stranger, or hold a door. We can remember that everyone carries their own burden and choose to be kind.
I know that many of my clients struggle with the idea of holding a light for others, because they feel that they are barely holding on to their own light–or because others have actively pushed them towards darkness. The idea of sharing our light when we feel as though it is scarce is a challenging one. It requires us to trust that light shared isn’t light lost. And when you feel kicked around–by your health, or your losses, or relationship pains–trust of any sort is a big ask.
Here is the truth that I have experienced.
Sharing light has never left me in the dark.
In those moments when I felt the most broken, I shared my brokenness. That was all I had to share, but it connected for others. Our pain has a light too–when we share it, others can see and know that they are not alone.
So, today, I am inviting you to share your light. It might be little and broken, but you have light. Your light makes a difference. And our lights together can push back the darkness.