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This article was previously published in 2017.
According to the Talmud, every blade of grass has its own angel watching over it, whispering, "Grow, grow." So too is it with us. This beautiful teaching is ours this week.
As the nights grow longer and darker, we are compelled more than any other time of the year, to go within for reflection, meditation, and spiritual growth. Oftentimes, when things are most difficult and most dark, are we able to truly change and become different people than we were before.
Meditation and prayer have been used for thousands of years by our sages, patriarchs, and matriarchs as a way to access a higher energy source. Like the flame of the candle that flows and seeks upward, when we meditate or engage in prayer we access the above worlds, where a reservoir of spiritual energy awaits our assistance. Our patriarch Jacob knew this. In this week’s portion Vayishlach, Jacob was facing his own battle. His brother Esau planned to wage war against him. But the night before the battle, Jacob went within, instead of without, to solve his problems. Jacob meditated and looked at the role he played in his troubles. He wasn't afraid to look at his own negativity. Where was he lacking love? Human dignity? Care for his fellow man? What were his fears? What part of him did not know the Creator yet? Once this work was done, Jacob was changed. Esau could no longer have power, influence or danger over him. For Esau was and is just a reflection of the internal fears, ego and limitations we all possess.
Gary Zukav writes in The Seat of the Soul, what makes one being more evolved than another being is compassion. True growth is not about the external but the internal work. It is when we learn it's in our own best interest to love more and hate less. Esau wanted to kill his brother, but he didn't know how to do it. He felt love for Jacob in spite of himself. The change happened when Esau felt the Light that was flowing into the physical world through Jacob. He embraced Jacob and loved him -- truly loved him. His hatred had turned into love. This is the power of love.
Sometimes we may be unwilling to work on ourselves, yet the universe will sure as heck have another plan for us! We can find ourselves pushed to confront our fears, whether we like it or not. Like I always say, we can't expect our muscles to grow if we don't go to the gym and work them.
This week, heed the call. Take the time to sit quietly without distraction and listen to your thoughts. Listen to your heart's beat. Breathe. See what answers you can hear when the world isn't so loud. Light a candle, and as you do so focus on lighting the candle within. Be sure you can expect to see great wonders in your life. "Grow. Grow." I know we can do it. I know with the power of love, we can each light our own candle within, and together all of us can light up the world.
God bless you, and all my love.