Light In Our Lives: 5 Lessons from Diwali


Light In Our Lives: 5 Lessons from Diwali
The Diwali Festival of Lights shines into our lives with ideas for better living and relationships

Diwali is an unusual religious celebration in that it is a festival for Sikhs, Hindus, Jains and some Buddhists.  Each of these religions has their own particular take on the festival.  This holiday is characterized as the festival of lights.  The light is to welcome and guide the richness and wealth into their lives for the new time that will come.  The light is also part of closing out old books, including traits such as anger, hate and jealosy. So what can we learn from Diwali?

  • Accept that riches and wealth can be good.  There are times where we say that what we need to solve our problems is more money.  More often, we think that wealth is something that is likely to corrupt.  The tradition of Diwali views wealth as being a reward for the good that had been done.  In this sense, wealth and riches can provide opportunity for you to do good and to be able to do more in this world.  How do you approach the riches that have come into your life?  If you are in a significant relationship, when is the last time you talked together about what your riches really mean to you and your family?
  • Outer lights point to inner lights and helps to keep them burning.  Diwali is a very joyous festival.  Diwali is a time when gifts are given.  The height of the celebration is full of light.  While the lights point to different events in the past, there is a deeper sense that they point those celebrating to remember the core of the celebration throughout the year.  The greatest light pointed to is the inner light.  Are you paying attention to your own inner light that goes beyond the physical nature of yourself?  How are you feeding the spiritual nature of who you are?  How are you encouraging this in your relationship with others, especially your significant other and your children?  What reminders do you put in your life to draw yourself back to what is really important?  How do you share those reminders with those in your life?
  • Believe that good can triumph over evil.  It is too easy to get caught up in what is going on and to lose hope.  However, hope really is there and your spiritual practices can help you to be able to reach back out for hope.  You may be experiencing feelings of depression htm  but your spirituality can help you exactly at this time if you allow yourself to believe that things can be different.  When you do this, you can experience a deeper sense of peace than simply absence of conflict.
  • Gifts are a good way to express your love and affection.  Gift giving is an important start of the new year that Diwali brings in.  In fact, the Hindu calendar includes a day for men to present gifts their wives and another day for brothers to give gifts to t
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The Rev. Christopher L. Smith

Marriage and Family Therapist

The Rev. Christopher L. Smith, LCAC, LMHC, LMFT has served as a national leader around mental health issues both within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and in professional counseling organizations.  He works directly with individuals, couples, families and supervisees as the Clinical Director of Seeking Shalom in New York City.  He also brings his insight to help a wider audience through writing, speaking and consultations.

Location: New York, NY
Credentials: LAC, LMFT, LMHC, MDiv
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Forgiveness, Spiritual
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