The Place Where the Light Enters You

December 21, 2022

Winter solstice is here - the space of stillness as we pass through the longest night of the year. Each year it seems tempting to hurry past this time, a time that invites us to pause and be still, to look past these days and to lean toward the light.

Solstice literally means “sun stands still.” We prefer to stay in motion, to look ahead, to plan for the next moment, hour, day, year. And yet each year at this time we are offered this time to pause, to notice, to wonder.

There is a kind of waiting, of not knowing what’s next that is encompassed in this in-between time. It seems important to acknowledge that standing still, and more importantly, being still, opens a space of uncertainty and vulnerability. For those whose childhoods were filled with the uncertainty and instability that leads to abuse, a quiet time of not knowing can bring the edges of fear into sharp focus. Trusting this dark, still time can seem impossible.

As we wait for the light – patiently or impatiently – I would like to suggest that it is already here. This human experience causes us to look outside, to look ahead to see what is to come. This evolutionary quality serves to protect us and keep us safe from harm. It also serves to subtly or not so subtly foster discontent with the present and keep us from the deep knowing of what is within.

In this time of waiting, we have the opportunity to find that the stillness is full of all that we need. Perhaps this time of quiet is an invitation to slow down or even stand still, to turn our focus to what is within. To find the light that is always there, known or unknown.

Being still and looking within can reveal the pain, the hurt, the wound. This can be especially true for those who have needed to deeply hide the pain to keep going on — or maybe it is true for all of us. Turning inward may not seem like a gift and that whatever light that was once there may have been long been extinguished. It can be difficult to trust the wise words of the poet Rumi:

The wound is the place where the light enters you.

 It is my deep wish for us all to take this time to be still enough to touch our wounds with great tenderness and compassion, to bring our own healing which will reveal the light that has always been there. The invitation is to trust the darkness, the stillness, the waiting, to trust the healing and the light that has been waiting for us all along.

My wishes to you for a happy and deeply healing winter solstice!

Janice Palm, LMHC
Executive Director, Roanoke Park Counseling

As we wait for the light – patiently or impatiently – I would like to suggest that it is already here. This human experience causes us to look outside, to look ahead to see what is to come.
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