I choose to live in the light. It is a choice, and sometimes a daily choice. Perhaps I am being naïve in the midst of our current climate issues and political landscape – just to name two very big overarching concerns of our time. Still, I choose to live in the light. I choose to believe that I can and do make a difference in this world. I also choose to believe that you do too. Sometimes, it’s a slippery slope and sometimes I slide, stumble or even take a nose-dive straight down. Sometimes I catch myself just as I’m teetering on the edge. Sometimes, my heart is full to bursting for no other reason than I’m here on this planet. Other times, I’m a little numb and tired for the very same reason. Still, I choose to live in the light.
I just finished reading Viktor Frankl’s book: Man’s Search for Meaning. I put off reading this book for a long time. The same reason I have still never watched Schindler’s List. My grandparents are both survivors of concentration camps. My grandfather, born in Germany. 26 years-old, married with a young child when the war was finally declared. My grandmother (who he met after the war), born in Poland and only 20. In Frankl’s book, he goes into great detail about life in the camps. With every word, I felt my grandfather’s presence alongside of him. They had nothing. Nothing but their life and a few rags to call clothes. Yet somehow, they survived. Yes, in many ways it was pure luck, but it was also an absolute will to live and to keep on living. If it wasn’t for that will, I wouldn’t be here writing these words now. Frankl says this will is the meaning, and the will comes from love and hope.
Thinking of this now, I feel a bit entitled. That our cries of life being so hard here in a first world country where I have the freedom to literally do anything that I want as a Woman of Jewish heritage is petty. But maybe that’s also the point. I know that I carry the generational trauma of the war with me. I also know that I carry the same resiliency, tenacity and inner strength of my ancestors as well. We all have stories. Some of them are personal stories of trauma, some of are the stories we have been raised by. We need to own these stories they are an important part of us. We also need to find a way to both carry these stories and also live in the light. To live for love and hope. To live for the sake of living. Ironically as I am writing this blog, I was just called to the door by two older women of faith wanting to share God’s message of peace with me in these troubling times. I thanked them for the work they are doing in the community. While I don’t share their exact belief system, I do share their thoughts of love and unity. I hope that someone does find peace in their message. Ultimately, I hope that we can all find a bit of peace in any way that brings us a little closer to the light.
On my dark days I call this to mind: “Even if we can’t see the light, just knowing it is there is enough.” Words that came to me at a time I needed them the most. And on all days, I come to my mat and sit in the stillness. Strengthening my own light within. I choose to live in the light.
Photo by: Rebecca Godfrey taken at Sangha Wellness Retreat‘s Healing in Nature Retreat on Georgian Bay, September 2019.