Dr. Purvi B. Gandhi

Specializing in Integrative Health & Wellness

Let it Shine

By Dr. Purvi Gandhi
Licensed Psychologist
Copyright © 2012

 It has been very difficult to comprehend the tragedy that occurred on Friday, December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  I, along with many of you, have struggled with the loss of young, little lives and have been heartbroken by the incident.  Such an act is unfathomable and leaves our heart filled with sadness, fear, and anger. Questions have been asked about motive and signs—questions that we may never find the answers to.  These were our children and this was our town, as President Obama so accurately stated. How do the town of Newtown, Connecticut and the nation cope with this situation and get through something so unimaginable as this?

I read that some residents of Newtown took down their holiday lights, in mourning.  Understandably, they feel that it is not appropriate to celebrate the holidays and most likely do not feel the uplifting nature of the season at this time.  It is important that each of us allows ourselves time and space to grieve this loss and feel the gravity of the situation. And it is just as important that each of us remembers the Spirit of the Season.  Holding onto the Spirit of the Season is what will get each of us through the grief and horror of this incomprehensible experience.

The holiday lights remind us of the intention of the season and the three wise men who followed the star of Bethlehem.  Different religions speak of this same light, which guides us to a greater truth in the world.  The lighting of the menorah for Hanukah or the lighting of the devo for Diwali (Festival of Lights) in the Hindu faith.  The message is the same:  light overcomes the darkness and connects us to something greater and more profound in ourselves and in the world.  When we focus on this light, it can lead us out of the darkness and sorrow.   This light is represented all around us and within us.

The light within a person can be expressed as their faith, spirituality, or generosity—any type of action that taps into the goodness and humanity of ourselves and others.  We can demonstrate this by extending ourselves to one another. This may mean greeting our neighbors or lending a hand to someone in our community.  It could be volunteering at your church/temple or school.  Maybe it is helping organize and participating in our community activities.  Orlando tends to have active communities.  But we can increase our sense of community and enhance our connection to one another by remembering the Spirit of the Season, all year long, and allowing our light to shine out into the world.  It is only by doing this that we can continue to create a world that is full of goodness, humanity, and meaning for ourselves and those we love.


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