“One light does not need a second light to be aware of itself.”
– Matthieu Ricard
Whenever I meet someone, I love to feel their “inner light.” We are all born with some kind of light that shines within us. We can call it life energy, or prana, chi, even eros. It shines until we die and then it moves on. When we meet people in the morning some are very bright and their light really shines. In others the light seems to be hiding; they are not really there yet. They might shine more as their day gets started or when the evening comes and the workday comes to a close.
This light is seated in our heart. Some traditions say that it’s like a jewel. I think we all might know people who have a warm and beautiful light inside. We feel safe, loved, seen, and understood in their presence. Some people have a very joyful light, some a very gentle light, and others have a very shiny and sharp light. And we might have heard or experienced that someone has lost their inner light in a difficult time.
Often we make decisions about how we want to spend our free time motivated by a desire for escape or entertainment. I don’t want to denigrate this; we all do this in one way or another. But at the same time, what would our day, our free time, our life look like if we made more of those decisions based on what benefits our inner light? Do we know how to be aware of it? Do we know how to nourish it? There are many ways in which we can experience well-being; nourishing our inner light is one of them. If we listen to it, it will let us know what it needs to shine.
This inner light is related to our deeper nature. It’s strong, vulnerable, blissful, and somewhat unique to us. It’s our mix of sensitivity, energy, response, and intention. Culturally, we aren’t taught anything about it. So we are not inspired to sense it, to respond to it in others, or to act from it. But in a very basic way our life and our relationships evolve from it and around it, whether we are conscious of this or not. If we learn to integrate our perception of this light more and more into our life, we might feel much more whole. Perhaps our life will change, maybe people will respond to us a bit differently, and maybe we will all be a bit happier. Maybe there will be more light coming into our world then!
If we allow ourselves some time here and there to connect with this inner light, our inner jewel, we can find an inner guide and balancing place that allows us to move more authentically through our day, in a healthier way. We might feel different in our responses to others and to challenges, and we will also not be alone. Connecting with this light in ourselves and others allows us to more easily see how others are just as we are, trying to do the best they can in a given situation. This light is a connection to the ground in all of us.
The people I’ve met who have a close connection to their inner light often see light wherever they go. They can see it in others, in nature, in situations. They have a good feeling for the potential within a challenge; they “see the light.” Situations can be challenging for them, but they do not feel so alone within those challenges. There is always the light of compassion somewhere close by, and even something larger, some experience of unconditional love and being loved going along with it.
We might face all kinds of difficulties in life, but if we can be aware of the light, the potential, the energy within those situations, we have the necessary support and the next stepping stone in the sometimes messy swamp of the moment. Especially if we’re in a swamp, moving from stone to stone leaves us feeling richer in experience, understanding, and in gaining new competencies.
I wish that all of you know and nourish your inner light so that we can shine for ourselves and others wherever we are.