Let there be light

At this time of the year daylight dwindles to a minimum as the hours of darkness increase.  

Perfectly timed, it’s when we ‘add light’ celebrating Chanukah, the festival of lights. 

Light or lack of it affects us in many ways.  We perceive colors according to how light falls on them.  Our moods are affected by light or darkness. We often associate the contrast between light and darkness to portray situations.   

I’d like to share an insight relating to light, and how this applies to the dynamics of the parent-child relationship. 

“A small amount of light can illuminate immense darkness”.(Rabbi Tzadok HaCohen of Lublin)

Darkness is the lack of light.  

Therefore, even a little bit of light can repel a lot of darkness.  Practically speaking, it’s enough to focus on even a slim ray of a flashlight to navigate through a dark cavern. The overwhelming darkness isn’t significant as long as you follow the light, meager as it may seem to be. 

The key is what we’re focused on, the light or the darkness. 

Focusing on even a slight ray of light and not on the surrounding darkness is what helps to overcome even what clearly seem to be insurmountable obstacles. 

Sometimes a child’s behavior can be annoying or aggravating. This provokes the parent to react, usually by expressing or even just feeling displeasure.  However, most parents can attest to the fact that even the most difficult child has his ‘moments of grace’, a ray of light that lights up the lives of his parents and his surroundings.  It may not be constant but nevertheless, it exists.   

Knowing that the ray of light is there can take you far, even when all seems dark and gloomy.   

While counseling parents I’ve often seen how, when a parent focuses on the ‘ray of light’, the dynamics begin to change.  Just perceiving the child in a different ‘light’ is where it all begins. 

It enables the darkness to recede as the newly-found light illuminates the dynamic of the relationship. 

From there the sky’s the limit.  

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