In these days of darkness, this question lives at the forefront of my thoughts. How do I make a difference? How do I make the world a brighter place? How do I leave it better than it was when I got here?

This little light of mine…

For so long, I felt like my work didn’t make a difference, like I wasn’t making a difference. I worked so hard for people who weren’t in need, but were the only ones who seemed to benefit from my blood and sweat. And it felt like my light was dying. I’d strayed so far from the path I’d originally set for myself. I’d see the models of The Hermit with his lantern and Hecate with her torch and my own light felt so tired and small, like a waning ember. Much of the past year has been about stepping out of the hierarchy of patriarchal society to embrace and creating a feminine vocation for myself that allows me to let it grow and shine brighter.

I’m gonna let it shine…

In the past, I tried to make up for it by working for justice in the world. Ignited by the stories of my own family of refugees, I worked at what felt like a sometimes losing battle to create peace in the world. I organized anti-war demonstrations, I volunteered with Amnesty International, with immigrants rights organizations. It was good work and good medicine, but it wasn’t my work, at least not my only work.

This little light of mine…

And slowly, the demands of my own job and life eclipsed it and all around me became dark. But something happens in the darkness. We see new potential sources of light. They are there in our periphery, if we look for them…

I’m gonna let it shine…

And I realized that my light was not in my job or in an organization, but in standing and speaking my true voice and helping others to access theirs.

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

My light shines whenever I rescue a stray dog. I shines when I use my voice speak for those who have none. It’s there when I care for my mother as she ages, listening to her tell the same story for the third time that day. It’s there any time I step forward with my best self. And it’s there any time I encourage others to be their best selves too. I’m so grateful that the work I am creating for myself will allow me to do that.

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